[sdiy] Expo in one chip?

Dave dlmanley at sonic.net
Fri Jan 5 01:34:11 CET 2018


I only scanned the linked article but believe all 'new' fabs are going support huge wafers with tiny geonetries.

One might guess any 'new' analog fabs that remake old parts are probably all small wafers with large device geometries probably built on equipment that has been sold onto the surplus market as the large semi houses have abandoned old low tech processes/low volume parts.  There's a niche market the big guys dont want to serve because it's not profitable enough and/or there are too many small customers, but where small fabs can make some money.

I've also had to deal with large semi houses selling entire product lines and processes to smaller companies.

For reference i just looked at THAT's foundry offering: 4 inch wafers and 3 micron, and they acquired that fab in 1999 (at that time the digital guys were at 0.18 micron).  

New fabs to be cost effective are going to be ~12 inch wafers and capable of <10 nm,  but these processes can't handle anywhere near the +/-15 volts wanted for audio so the old lives on.

-Dave 


On January 4, 2018 4:15:54 AM PST, Neil Johnson <neil.johnson71 at gmail.com> wrote:
>Hi,
>
>Alex Sullivan wrote:
>> Apart from the IP release aspect what's behind the sudden resurgence
>of chip fabricators?  Is it just demand or has the process got
>cheaper/easier?
>>
>> Just curious!
>
>I suspect it is a combination of two things:
>
>1/ The resurgence/growth in the analogue synth market.  Behringer
>getting involved is a pretty good indicator that the market is
>sufficiently large enough that Uli thinks he'll get a worthwhile
>return on his investment.  CEM also came out of the closet when the
>market reached a point where they felt they could sell enough chips to
>make it worth having a wafer sliced and packaged up (I don't know if
>they had new wafers made or simply are using old wafers).
>
>2/ The growth in low-cost Chinese fabs targetting the larger/older
>geometries.  For example:
>https://semiengineering.com/china-fab-boom-or-bust/
>This is where companies like SSI and Alfa become possible.  Uli has
>his own fabs to supply his own factories, so he can afford to spread
>the costs across multiple product familiies (synths, mixing desks,
>effecs units, etc).
>
>Neil
>-- 
>http://www.njohnson.co.uk
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