TSMC OIP: Enabling Industry Innovation in the Fourth Era of Semiconductor

The acceleration in digital transformation has made semiconductors more pervasive and essential in people’s lives, and has brought intense focus on innovation in the semiconductor industry. Innovation is growing even more essential as competition among semiconductor companies continues to intensify due to consolidation and commoditization of technology at more mature, conventional levels. Companies must find ways to overcome the unprecedented semiconductor design challenges and keep innovating in order to survive and prosper. At TSMC, we believe the most effective way to foster semiconductor innovation is through active collaboration with partners.

We have been working closely with design partners and customers since the Company was founded, and have utilized this experience to foster fundamental changes by launching the TSMC Open Innovation Platform® (OIP) in 2008, when 45nm was cutting edge. The goal of the TSMC OIP was to handle the increasing complexity of semiconductor design by creating a new paradigm of collaboration, organizing development and optimization across process technology, electronic design automation (EDA), IP, and design methodology. Access to TSMC technology during early development phases was made possible to enable parallel development with partners and customers. Through closer and deeper collaboration, we could profoundly impact time to market and change the trajectory of the entire industry.

Over time, one of the most tangible customer and industry benefits of OIP is synchronization of EDA and IP availability with the introduction of TSMC’s most advanced processes. This enables customer adoption of TSMC’s newest processes with EDA flows that have been enabled and pipe-cleaned, and IP design kits made available in synchrony with DRMs and Spice models. TSMC refers to this as the Fourth Era of Semiconductor: IDM, ASIC, Fabless, and now the OIP Era.

Today, TSMC OIP is a robust and vibrant ecosystem and has been continuously enabling silicon innovations in the U.S. and around the world by lowering design barriers and improving first-time silicon success. As a comprehensive design technology infrastructure that encompasses all critical IC implementation areas, TSMC OIP enables the speedy implementation of innovation in the semiconductor design community and its ecosystem partners using TSMC’s IP, design implementation, process technology, and backend services.

The Grand Alliance of TSMC Partnerships, of which OIP is a component, are what have allowed the industry to take full advantage of increasing power, performance, and area (PPA) optimization of advanced process and 3D IC technologies. Through OIP, a vital component in the semiconductor industry, TSMC is able to help customers achieve next-generation silicon design and realize great success with the collaborative power of TSMC and ecosystem partners. This early and intensive collaborative effort makes it possible to deliver the design infrastructure with timely enhancement of EDA tools, early availability of critical silicon-proven IPs, and quality design services when customers need them.

As the industry’s most comprehensive ecosystem, TSMC’s OIP alliance currently consists of 16 EDA partners, six Cloud partners, 37 IP partners, 21 design center alliance (DCA) partners, and eight value chain aggregator (VCA) partners. It combines the foundry segment’s earliest and most comprehensive electronic design automation (EDA) certification program and the foundry segment’s largest and most robust silicon-proven IP and library portfolio. Expanding its libraries and silicon IP portfolio to more than 40,000 IP titles and providing more than 38,000 technology files as well as over 2,600 process design kits spanning 0.5-micron to 3-nanometer to customers, TSMC works together with its partners and proactively engages with them much earlier and deeper than ever before to address mounting design challenges at advanced technology nodes.


We look forward to the next phase of semiconductor growth and where it may take us. For now, we are guided by the belief that the OIP Era of semiconductor is all about collaboration and will continue to enhance our design ecosystem to enable next-generation silicon design and innovations. No matter where the industry is headed, collaboration will continue to improve design and production for all.


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