AMIS is the first ASIC supplier to ship 0.18 micron structured ASIC products in full production
Pocatello, Idaho - July 14, 2003 - AMIS today announced a new higher-density version of its popular XPressArray (XPA) structured ASIC product family. With more than two million fully programmable gates plus memory, the higher-density XPressArray (XPA-HD) offers 40 percent more density than AMI Semiconductor's existing XPressArray offering. AMIS was the first semiconductor company to move a 0.18m structured ASIC into production and is currently shipping prototypes in 10 days or less from customer sign-off, the quickest prototype cycle time in the industry. Prototypes of the higher-density series will be available in Q3 2003.
Structured ASICs have emerged as a rapidly growing product category in the semiconductor marketplace.
"Design costs and mask charges for cell-based products just keep rising and FPGA technology can't match the performance of ASICs," says Bryan Lewis, vice president of research and chief semiconductor analyst for Gartner Dataquest. "A market window has opened for a new breed of ASIC products that can offer customers quicker time-to-market and lower overall design costs."
The best of both worlds
Implemented with hybrid technology comprising 0.18m TSMC wafers that are finished by AMI Semiconductor in its own metallization process, XPressArray is designed from the ground up with FPGA conversions in mind. XPressArray customers can prototype using existing FPGA tools of their choice, which reduces development cost, and eliminates the need to purchase and learn new toolsets. XPressArray customers can also select from embedded IP that includes DLL, PLL and RAM blocks that match the leading FPGA products.
"Our hybrid production approach is unique among structured ASIC vendors and provides our customers with tremendous benefits," said Vince Hopkin, vice president of the AMIS digital ASIC business unit. "After TSMC completes 60 to 70 percent of the production process, we perform the final metallization on XPressArray wafers in our own fabs, providing our customers the best of both worlds. They get all the advantages of the TSMC state-of-the-art technology combined with the control and significantly lower reticle costs provided by our programmable metallization process. This programmable metallization process simplifies timing closure while simultaneously increasing gate utilization."
NRE costs for typical XPressArray products range from $80-200K, which are 30-50 percent of the NREs for cell-based ASICs. Overall unit costs for XPA-HD devices are as low as $6 in annual volumes of 50K units.
The XPA-HD version offers system clock speeds up to 200MHz and local clocks up to 350MHz. XPA-HD devices are available in a variety of package options. XPressArray family members offer between 64K and 2.6M gates, up to 200K internal registers and up to 1.4Mbits of embedded RAM. RAM may be configured as single or dual port with asymmetrical port widths. The architecture allows each RAM bit to be initialized through a metal mask option. Flexible I/O technology includes fully configurable core and I/O power supply pads and support for the industry's widest range of I/O standards including PCI-X, HSTL, SSTL, GTL, and 622Mbps LVDS. Comprehensive clock management circuitry features up to 12 all digital delay-locked loops (DLLs) and a maximum of four phase-locked loops (PLLs).
About AMI Semiconductor
AMI Semiconductor (AMIS) is a world leader in the design and manufacture of silicon solutions for the real world. As a widely recognized innovator in state-of-the-art mixed-signal technologies and mid-range digital ASICs including ASIC conversion services, AMIS is committed to providing customers with the optimal value, quickest time-to-market ASIC solutions. Offering unparalleled manufacturing flexibility and dedication to customer service, AMI Semiconductor operates globally with headquarters in Pocatello, Idaho, European corporate offices in Oudenaarde, Belgium, and a network of sales and design centers located in the key markets of the United States, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.