I just watched an interesting video of a demonstration at DAC of the eSilicon GDS II online quote for TSMC. Actually, it wasn’t so much as a demonstration as an interactive use of the quote tool using data supplied by a member of the audience.
The quote system works for TSMC processes from 28nm up to 350nm. The design the audience member wants quoted is a transceiver in TSMC’s 180nm process, mixed signal variant, with 6 layers of metal. The die size and package are specified (although for some reason that part of the video has been edited out).
A press of a button and the quote is created. It is very detailed.
- package design $14,270
- manufacturing services (test harness, probecards etc) $155,817
- ESD qualification $9.500
- test development $50,200
- then there are lots of optional services that are priced such as burn-in, process corner analysis
- lot buy pricing for 25,12 and 6 wafer lots at $73,866, $38,571 and $19,286 respectively, expected to yield 86,662 die, 41,598 die and 20,799 die
- respin pricing (for a metal only change using some wafers held back at contact)
Finally the die price which is $2.35 assuming 90% wafer-sort yield (if the yield is 95% then $2.29 and at 85% $2.43).
The entire quote takes a little less than 10 minutes. And it is a quote not an estimate. Provided you don’t change anything (like the die size) then eSilicon stands behind the quote and will deliver all the services at the prices in the quote. Of course under the hood they have a TSMC price model built into the system, but that is transparent to you the customer. eSilicon takes care of all the negotiation with TSMC, the logistics of manufacturing, packaging, test, delivery and the various optional services, if any, that you have requested. Until recently, pricing a design was something that took a couple of weeks, and was anything but transparent. Now eSilicon, with the help of TSMC of course, have made something that used to take several weeks be just a few minutes.
Of course if something does change, for instance the die comes in larger or smaller than forecast when the quote was first done, then it only takes 10 minutes to generate a new quote and eSilicon will stand behind those revised prices. It is a big change from how I remember we used to do quotes when I was in the ASIC business in the 1980s.
Unfortunately eSilicon don’t have all the permissions they need to post the video so I can’t give you a link to it. I guess you just had to be there.