Runaway complexity in design, implementation, verification and manufacturing is being mirrored across an increasingly complex supply chain. Now the question is what to do about it.
Complexity is being driven by the continued shrinking of feature sizes and the clamor for more functionality to leverage the real estate that becomes available with each new process node. But the increased density also requires a slew of new technologies, such as finFETs, new processes such as double patterning, and potentially even new materials. On top of that, market windows are actually shrinking rather than remaining constant, putting pressure on teams to ramp up their IP reuse when possible, or to buy commercially available IP when it isnít.
This all sounds straightforward enough, except that the number of partners critical to an SoCís success is growing, as well. And the more partners in the supply chain for any given chip, the more chances that something will go wrong. Moreover, given the huge investment required for chips and their derivatives these days, thatís causing companies to scramble in an effort to contain the risk.
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