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  • What Does an MPW and a Pizza Have in Common?

    Simulation Technique for Thermally Aware 3D TSV IC Stacking-semiconductor-wafer-pizza-min-jpgDesign starts are critical to the growth of the semiconductor industry so enabling them is a common theme on SemiWiki. One thing we have not covered in detail is multi-project wafer services (MPW) which is the equivalent of ride sharing through the initial mask and wafer process. Larger semiconductor companies already do this internally but what about the rest of the world, especially budget constrained Universities? We need their design starts too!

    Let’s face it, the costs of mask sets are increasing with every node. Currently, a 6mm2 area tile at 28nm can cost more than $100,000 so why not share the ride with someone that has similar requirements? The bigger question is how do I find that special someone? Of course there is an app for that (think Tinder/Uber/AirBnB/etc... for an MPW).Simulation Technique for Thermally Aware 3D TSV IC Stacking-multi-project-wafer-mpw-button-jpg

    eSilicon MPW Explorer: Fast, Accurate Quotes
    Evaluate Options and Get Fast, Accurate Quotes for Multi-Project Wafer Shuttle Services. Quote and Compare: Free, Automated Online Multi-Project-Wafer Quote System Delivers Instant Pricing…

    Here are some recent examples:

    180nm MPW Sharing Platform:
    • Flavor: TSMC 180nm MS RF GP
    • Metal stack: 1P6M_4x1u (40KA top metal thickness)
    • I/O: 3.3V
    • MiM cap density (if used): 2fF/um2
    • Price: $1,000/mm2; 5mm2 minimum area

    40nm MPW Sharing Platform
    • Flavor: TSMC 40nm MS RF G
    • Metal stack: 1P10_7x1z1u
    • I/O: 1.8V
    • Price: $7,500/mm2 ; 1mm2 minimum area

    eSilicon even hosts tapeout parties for Universities: MPW Tapeout Parties & eSilicon MPW Team (Arizona State University and Texas A&M January 2016, UCLA February 2016, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign March 2016, University of Minnesota April 2016).

    For you Millennials, the term tapeout comes from a prehistoric time when we used to stream the design data to magnetic tape reels that were then sent to photomask facilities for processing.

    eSilicon Multi-Project Wafer Service FAQ:

    What does the multi-project wafer (MPW) price include?
    Services included are listed in Appendix B of your MPW quote.

    Can I get my MPWs packaged?
    Yes, standard MPW die packages are available using our online form for quick cost comparisons. You can also package some of your die and receive the rest in bare die form if you like. If you are interested in other standard or custom IC packages, please contact the eSilicon sales manager assigned to you in your account confirmation email. We can probably help you. Please visit our Multi-Project Wafer Services overview page for an up-to-date list of our online MPW package offering.

    What about testing? Can I get my parts tested before delivery?
    Yes, testing services are available on request. Please contact the eSilicon sales manager assigned to you in your confirmation email for details.

    Can I find out when the various foundries run their MPWs?
    Yes, please, access the MPW schedules link on the top menu of the MPW Explorer interface.

    Can I cancel an MPW reservation?
    Yes, MPW reservations can be canceled. The process and associated fees, if any, are as described in Section 5 of Appendix D of your MPW quote.

    Do I need an export certification?
    It depends on the application. eSilicon will provide you with a very simple questionnaire to determine what, if anything, you need. This form will soon be online.

    On the quote request form, what is “MPW tile size?”
    “MPW tile size” is the minimum block size for an MPW order at a specific foundry and technology. For example, at TSMC 65GP, the minimum is 12mm2. Normally, if a customer orders an MPW with a 6.1mm2 die area at TSMC 65GP, they will be invoiced for a 12mm2 die area.

    Is there any way to reduce the “MPW tile size”
    Yes, eSilicon has developed a worldwide MPW sharing program. We can work with you to find other customers to share the cost of the MPW tile of your choice. Please visit our MPW Sharing Page to see the latest sharing opportunities.

    Can eSilicon offer MPWs from other foundries or technologies besides the ones listed?
    Yes, we are always working to add new foundries. Contact us at with the foundry you’re interested in and we’ll give you the status.

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    Simulation Technique for Thermally Aware 3D TSV IC Stacking-esilicon-mpw-banner-jpg

    About eSilicon

    eSilicon guides customers through a fast, accurate, transparent, low-risk ASIC journey, from concept to volume production. Explore your options online with eSilicon STAR tools, engage with eSilicon experts, and take advantage of eSilicon semiconductor design, custom IP and IC manufacturing solutions through a flexible engagement model. eSilicon serves a wide variety of markets including the communications, computer, consumer, industrial products and medical segments. Get the data, decision-making power and technology you need for first-time-right results.