Traditionally, fabless semiconductor companies solve complex design issues on their own or hand off their issues to specialized design shops, though, not all companies can afford complex chip design these days. For those companies IBM wants to offer a service that will put all the ASIC design issues on IBM’s Engineering & Technology Services division.
IBM Engineering & Technology Services has set up a foundry design center that offers a full range of foundry design services from start to finish (RTL to GDSII). Final GDSII databases are offered in IBM’s foundry technology or in competing technologies.
Chips can be designed and manufactured in one of four ways: full-custom, semi-custom ASIC, semi-custom FPGA or foundry. Expense, technical design requirements, time-to-market, and projected volumes are all factors in deciding which option to choose.