European chip start-up in packaging promise

European chip start-up in packaging promise
European semiconductor start-up, announced at Semicon Europa, plans to quote industry cycle times for packaging and test in ‘hours not days or weeks’. David Manners. A new European semiconductor company was announced at Semicon Europa yesterday (Tuesday), which aims to break all records in industry cycle times for packaging and test. “Cycle times in this business are usually quoted in weeks – the good guys quote in days – but we’ll be quoting hours,” said Steve Lerner, CEO of the company called Custom Silicon Configuration Services, or CS2 for short. CS2 is the first company to be backed by the venture capital fund IT-Partners set up by IMEC, the International Microelectronics Centre at the University of Leuven and several Belgian banks. Lerner, a seven-year veteran of the world’s largest assembly house – Anam 0f Korea – has raised an initial $10m from IT-Partners with a further $5m coming in the next three weeks. The Asian crisis is one reason why that amount of funding is sufficient to get started: “We can get the most attractive credit terms I’ve seen in a long time,” said Lerner. CS2’s competitiveness will come from its concentration on the most advanced packaging techniques and very quick turnaround. “We’ll be able to do it in 72 hours,” said Lerner. “With some lots, a customer will be able to bring in wafers one evening and fly out with packaged chips next morning. You can do it, with small lots, in 12 hours. The time it takes nowadays is nearly all in the logistics.” He reckons that European assembly saves 15 per cent of costs compared to in Asia in time and freight charges. “Every day you’re out of the application costs you money,” said Lerner.


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