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Asian start-ups to get hold of silicon shuttle services

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:e-Shuttle HKSTP? Asia? IC design house?

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp. (HKSTP) and Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd's (FML) subsidiary e-Shuttle Inc. of Japan have signed an agreement to provide silicon shuttle services for start-up IC design houses in Asia. E-Shuttle was established by Fujitsu Microelectronics and Advantest Corp. to provide low-cost prototyping services for leading-edge, large-scale ICs.

The initiative, boosting Asia's semiconductor industry, provides first-of-a-kind Electron Beam Direct Writing (EBDW) technology at low cost, claim the proponents. The proprietary EBDW technology developed by e-Shuttle significantly lowers the cost of prototyping ICs and reduces turnaround time.

Under the new initiative, HKSTP will provide development support, including design tools, evaluation systems, and a secured remote access design environment to design houses, which then send timing, power and other data to ESI for prototyping using the EBDW technology. The IC designers evaluate the design or product prototypes from e-Shuttle for recommendation to manufacturers. This process will allow even small and medium-sized design organizations to leverage leading prototyping technologies such as 65nm at very low cost.

Hand in hand
The program with e-Shuttle complements HKSTP's IC Design Centre, which incorporates a wide range of IP services, including test development, IP trial, licensing, integration and verification plus a legal framework for semiconductor intellectual property development under an ISO 27001 certified design environment.

"Our cooperation with e-Shuttle will enable us to provide small and medium-sized technology developers with access to the most advanced prototyping technologies and FML's superior wafer manufacturing, as well as a one-stop-shop service for design start and production release, governed by global best practices and the rule of IP protection laws of Hong Kong," said Ir. S.W. Cheung, HKSTP's VP for business development and technology support.

The new partnership supports the rapid growth of Asia's semiconductor industry, and the shift of IC design from the United States and Europe to this region. According to e-Shuttle president Haruo Tsuchikawa: "Working together with HKSTP, we will activate new innovation by design houses in the semiconductor industry. HKSTP has the manufacturing support environment that start-ups need. Its secure information security system, together with our technology, is critical to leading-edge IC development.

"Prototyping advanced ICs is usually very costly, including the high cost of reticle lithography. EBDW technology provides a short delivery cycle at less cost with mask-less production," continued Tsuchikawa.

"Since its establishment in 2001, HKSTP has been dedicated to IC and associated silicon IP development by forming strong alliances with key IT vendors, professional IC associations as well as leading universities," said Cheung. "This cooperation with e-Shuttle further extends our technology portfolio network to Japan."

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