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Chipwrights – Modern IC Design

Chipwrights – Modern IC Design

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Chipwrights – Modern IC Design

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  1. Chipwrights – Modern IC Design Luis Diego Cabezas, Drew Harry, Sharon Talbot

  2. Introduction • Technical Information • Design • Fabrication • Software Development • Business Background • Funding History • Business Strategy • Marketing • Prospective Markets • Value Added • Cost Breakdown • Maketing/Sales Team

  3. Design Differs from industry standards – • Optimizes parallel activities with 8 logic units • Basic components for video and audio – codec done in software, which allows for greater flexibility • Utilizes a “vector processing” method • Low power consumption

  4. Fabrication • Sent off to a “Foundry” – called a “Tape-out” • On return, the chip is analyzed. • If errors, some can be corrected on a surface level – Others must be returned to the company. • Entire process takes several months – a significant delay if many errors are found.

  5. Software Development Examples: • Compilers, linkers, debuggers (Software Development Kits). • Developing software building blocks for quick deployment. • Complete consumer application development. They currently are developing for several different companies as demo models – allows them to demonstrate the value of their product.

  6. Introduction • Technical Information • Design • Fabrication • Software Development • Business Background • Funding History • Business Strategy • Marketing • Prospective Markets • Value Added • Cost Breakdown • Maketing/Sales Team

  7. Venture Capital • 11/99-2/00 Seed funding: $250k, COMDEX • 5/00 Round A: $4.5M, valued at $8.5M • 11/00 COMDEX, first simulated chip • 9/01 first tape-out • 11/01 Round B: $8M, valued at $13.5M • 11/01 first silicon chip (hard times for industry) • 9/02 second silicon chip, for digital cameras • 3/03 Round C: $18M, valued at $33M • 5/03 third silicon chip, cost reduction • 11/03 volume production

  8. Business Strategy: Start-Up Phase • Market segment • High-performance, low-power, low-cost, multipurpose chips. On the bleeding edge of hardware • R&D • Chip design updated yearly, new applications sought • Transferable/compatible software development • Sales/Marketing • Aggressive seeking of customers (Tokyo, US, Europe) • Goal: several major camera manufacturers • Customer Relations • Close contact helps guide chip design • Technical support and documentation are paramount

  9. Introduction • Technical Information • Design • Fabrication • Software Development • Business Background • Funding History • Business Strategy • Marketing • Prospective Markets • Value Added • Cost Breakdown • Maketing/Sales Team

  10. Prospective Markets • 50-100 Possible Customers • Products with highly parallelizable tasks. • Low Cost, Low Power, “High” Speed • Growing segment with advent of distributed media applications (with low power consumption needs) • Cameras • Cellphones • iPod (+ video) • PDAs

  11. Value Added vs. Custom • Allows customers to focus on features not hardware • Software allows flexibility/upgrades – better to not hardcode features • Decreases development costs. Designing new silicon chips is very expensive. (~$2 million + 1 year @ 0.13 micron)

  12. Sample Breakdown of Costs • $200 retail price • $100 wholesale • $25 labor, other parts of camera • $75 chip cost • $65 other chips • $10 Chipwrights DSP • 50% margin on chip cost

  13. Marketing/Sales Team • Salesmen. Strategic level – who to go after and how • Field Application Engineers. Actual engineers who work with consumers to help with product development pre/post sale. • Operations. Production management and supply chain work. • Documentation. Website, product docs, marketing materials, etc. • About 20 People