Lucent puts $10m into Chip Express

Lucent puts $10m into Chip Express
Steve Bush Lucent Technologies is to invest $10m in Chip Express, the one-day-turn-around Asic company. As part of the deal, Lucent will get access to Chip Express’ laser programmable gate array (LPGA) technology for inclusion into Lucent’s Asics. Chip Express, which works down to 0.35?m, will get the 0.25?m process which will be developed jointly by the two companies. Foundries commonly require six weeks to convert a design into sample silicon, a time repeated for every redesign. “It is not uncommon for designers to iterate their system ICs multiple times before production release,” said Mark Stibitz, Lucent’s v-p of integrated systems. Adding LPGA to an Asic allows designers to put proven circuit blocks into silicon at an earlier stage and save unproven blocks for the on-chip LPGA. The LPGA can be programmed at the last minute of production, only one day before chip encapsulation in some cases. If they fail to work, the unproven blocks can quickly be re-spun in the LPGA, again in as little as a day. “With LPGA technology, companies could ramp into production three or four months earlier,” said Stibitz.


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