I talked to Dado Banatao today. He is managing partner at Tallwood Venture Capital today but back in the mid-1980s he was the founder of Chips and Technologies, the first fabless semiconductor company. The rumors that they had a hard time raising money because VCs couldn’t comprehend a fabless semiconductor company are … Read More
Part 1 here.
The line between fabless semiconductor companies and IDMs has blurred over the last decade. Back in the 1990s, most IDMs manufactured most of their own product, perhaps using a foundry for a small percentage of additional capacity when required. But their own manufacturing was competitive, both in terms of the capacity… Read More
The fundamental economics of the semiconductor industry are summed up in the phrase “fill the fab.” Building a fab is a major investment. With a lifetime of just a few years, the costs of owning a fab are dominated by depreciation of the fixed capital assets (the building, the air and water purification equipment, the manufacturing… Read More
A modern fab can cost as much as $10B dollars. That’s billion with a B. Since it has a lifetime of perhaps 5 years, owning a fab costs around $50 per second and that’s before you buy any silicon or chemicals or design any chips. Obviously anyone owning a fab had better be planning on making and selling a lot of chips if they are going to make… Read More
There is an interesting discussion in the SemiWiki forum in response to the EETimes article: Intel exec says fabless model ‘collapsing’. Definitely an interesting debate, one worth our time since the advertising click hungry industry pundits will certainly jump all over it. Clearly I’m biased since I helped build… Read More