Science-Based Industrial Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan, May 24, 2000 - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) (NYSE:TSM) today announced that it is expanding CyberShuttle – the foundry industry’s most active device prototyping program – and including new shuttles for TSMC’s leading-edge 0.15- and 0.13-micron process technologies.
The CyberShuttle program (previously known as Multi-Project Wafer or MPW), enables designers to explore the benefits of leading-edge technology without committing to large volume wafer starts. The expanded program features 50 shuttle launches in year 2000, up 150 percent from 20 shuttle launches in 1999. The CyberShuttle program dramatically reduces NRE (non-recurring engineering) charges for small wafer volumes, enabling fast, low-cost prototyping.
Already in 2000, the program has launched 29 shuttles, three more than the total for all of 1999. Among the launches set for all of this year, about 40 percent will feature 0.25-micron processes and another 40 percent will be targeted to TSMC’s 0.18-micron process. The company’s industry-leading 0.15-micron process will be employed for most of the remainder, with at least one shuttle launch aimed at TSMC’s advanced 0.13-micron process by year-end. TSMC is the first foundry to offer a shuttle at this advanced technology.
In addition, the program targets shuttles to a number of process options, including logic, mixed-signal, embedded memory and RF, as well as low-voltage and low-power options. TSMC is the foundry industry technology leader, with the broadest array of process options to serve a range of requirements for leading-edge communications, computing, and consumer electronics products.
“The popularity of our CyberShuttle program is attributable to two factors,” said Mike Pawlik, vice president of marketing, TSMC. “First, it provides access to state-of-the-art silicon for advanced design prototyping at an affordable price. Second, TSMC’s ability to assemble these group mask sets and turn around the working prototypes is exceptional. Designers rightly see the CyberShuttle program as a way to reduce design risk and get to market faster.”
A new feature that is soon to be implemented in support of CyberShuttle is TSMC’s OnlineRequest capability. OnlineRequest is a transparent, web-based system for CyberShuttle wafer ordering and status tracking. With it, designers can track orders and work in progress, enabling just-in-time planning for product testing or sampling. An intuitive registration page allows new users of TSMC’s CyberShuttle program to apply for placement on a shuttle. OnlineRequest is one of many features of TSMC’s eFoundry initiative to improve the foundry supply chain through expanded use of advanced online services.
Started February 1998, TSMC’s CyberShuttle program spreads the cost of producing a shuttle or lot of up to 20 wafers. While the precise number of individual die may vary depending upon the particular design, customers are guaranteed 40 die or, at their option, packaged parts. Extra prototypes may be ordered if the minimum number does not meet requirements. TSMC’s CyberShuttle program has been used to produce nearly 1000 customer or partner designs since its inception in October of 1998.
The CyberShuttle program is not only useful to companies exploring new process technologies, but also is effective for design re-use strategies in system-on-chip design, where various IP blocks are “recycled” from one design to the next. The CyberShuttle program provides fabless and IDM customers with a quick and easy platform for verifying interfaces between multiple IP blocks without risking huge volumes of product. The service is also used by third-party IP providers to validate their products in TSMC silicon.