REUTERS: A veteran of the world’s two greatest chipmakers is hoping to make reasonably priced customized silicon chips for startup corporations by rolling out new software program on Monday on the Client Electronics Present in Las Vegas.
Customized-designed chips energy top-tier smartphones from corporations equivalent to Apple Inc and Huawei Applied sciences Ltd. However they’re pricey to design and tough to make, requiring large groups of engineers and years to finish, with particular design software program that may price hundreds of thousands of a 12 months.
Ming Zhang based Mountain View, California-based zGlue Inc after a profession at Intel Corp and the chipmaking division of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , the place he helped work on Intel’s first cell processors and the designs for a few of Samsung’s chips. zGlue, itself a small startup with only some dozen staff, goals to lower the complexity and price of customized chips and launched its full system on Monday.
To try this, Zhang’s zGlue has damaged up sophisticated chip designs into “chiplets” that may be mixed on a single chip utilizing free web-based software program. The chip makes use of a particular backside connective layer that offers the chiplets a speedier connection and smaller footprint than in the event that they had been every made as particular person chips on a circuit board. The method is just like expertise lately launched by Intel to stack totally different circuits collectively for sooner chips.
zGlue provides three issues to startups: A pre-set library of the chiplets, software program to mix them with out having to know sophisticated chip-design guidelines, and managing the connection with the sprawling centralized chip factories that can in the end manufacture them.
Foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) are accustomed to coping with massive clients equivalent to Apple or huge chip companies like Nvidia Corp or Qualcomm Inc.
However Zhang informed Reuters the important thing for startups is to get the chips made at a worth they’ll afford. To that finish, zGlue on Monday additionally launched a program the place zGlue will pool its small clients’ orders and work with TSMC’s chip factories to get them made sooner than if the startups went to TSMC on their very own.
“We are attempting to make this obtainable to anybody. We now have a software program software in order that anybody can go from a design on a serviette to receiving a chip in a month,” Zhang informed Reuters in an interview. “All these corporations are making superb expertise, however they’re protecting it for themselves.”
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Modifying by Phil Berlowitz)