Richard Goering, EE Times(01/09/2006 10:00 AM EST)
The cheapest, fastest and best way to finish your chip design may be to get somebody else to do it. A complex web of providers, both domestic and offshore, will be happy to help. But successfully outsourcing IC design takes careful planning, strong project management and a realistic set of expectations.
You can't just throw a specification or netlist "over the wall" to designers down the street, let alone in China or India, veterans say. With outsourcing, you are entering into a close partnership that will require ongoing interaction, supervision and quality control. "A partnership is like a marriage," said Pratul Shroff, CEO of design house eInfochips Ltd. "It takes time to understand each other, set expectations and get going."
In fact, the very notion of "handoff" has become obsolete, said
Richard Brossart, vice president of technology marketing at LSI Logic Corp. "We are engaged with customers very close to the beginning, and we work very closely with customers throughout the design process," he noted.
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