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
José Tribolet, President of INESC (r) and the former Portuguese
Ministers of industry and education visit the Integrated Circuit production
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.
Horácio Neto - INESC
Tel: 351 1 3100366
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