ERCIM News No.25 - April 1996 - INESC

Low Cost Integrated Circuits Prototyping Available at INESC

by Horácio Neto

INESC's prototyping and small series production of ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) service will be offered to academic and industrial users on special conditions during 1996. The objective is to encourage the technological community to use the unique, at national level, capabilities of INESC's current microelectronics infrastructures.

The aim is to expand the use of an infrastructure that is exceptional at national and even European levels by encouraging the use of these resources by R&D projects involving European institutions and companies.

INESC's national objective is to foster the cooperation between the scientific and industrial communities in order to keep this activity viable, which is crucial to the articulation of the microelectronics activity on a national level.

José Tribolet, President of INESC (r) and the former Portuguese Ministers of industry and education visit the Integrated Circuit production Clean Room

Since the full start-up of its activity in 1995, the infrastructure has successfully manufactured several industrial prototypes, including a controller for a gas heater without a pilot light and with forced ventilation, an 8 bit protocol converter for a digital telephone exchange and a controller for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

INESC provides prototyping services and low volume production of ASICs. In addition to its production facilities, INESC also provides circuit testing and encapsulating services. The fabrication services are based on semi custom technology that uses sea-of-gates pre-diffused wafers. The existence of wafers with dies of different areas permits the efficient realisation of circuits of varying complexity. The use of innovative laser based direct write lithography minimizes the startup cost involved, making this technology specially attractive for prototyping and low volume production. Design kits for a number of CAD systems are available.

Please contact:
Horácio Neto - INESC
Tel: 351 1 3100366
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