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UMC Group Creates Industry's Most Complete 0.25- and 0.18-micron Design Support Program Free-of-charge Design Offerings from Four Major Vendors


Sunnyvale, Calif., Sept. 8, 1998 – UMC Group said today it has finalized agreements with leading library and intellectual property (IP) vendors to offer the most comprehensive package of no-cost 0.25- and 0.18-micron design kits and libraries in the foundry industry.

Artisan Components and Mentor Graphics will distribute and support complete physical libraries free of charge to UMC Group foundry customers, giving both the front-end timing simulation and back-end physicals necessary to perform a tape-out. In addition, Silicon Access, and Virtual Silicon have agreed to support UMC Group customers with no-cost front-end 0.25 micron design kits. Front-end design kits enable a customer to size a design and determine basic timing data.

The Hsinchu-based foundry also will provide verified system-on-chip IP from Mentor Graphics, and other vendors. UMC Group's strategy is to provide its customers with the libraries and low-risk IP from a wide range of vendors to increase accessibility of design services and cut time to market for customers.

"Since last year we have been actively cooperating with a number of vendors to establish a catalogue of libraries and system-on-chip IP tailored specifically to UMC Group's 0.25 micron process," said Jim Kupec, president of UMC Group (USA). "Our arrangements with Artisan and Mentor Graphics to have physical libraries offered free-of-charge is focused on ease of use, low risk, and cost effectiveness of our foundry services."

New Silicon Shuttle™ Test Chip Program
UMC Group is also offering its unique "Silicon Shuttle?" test chip program, which facilitates IP checkout for customers and vendors by allowing them to verify their IP in a test chip. "The program has been heavily subscribed to, offering substantial benefits to customers needing prototyping or IP verification for SOC designs. Nine "Silicon Shuttle?" wafers have been completed to date. We hope to increase our strategic partnerships with library and IP vendors as the advantages of this business model become more widely recognized," said Kupec.

"UMC Group is the first major foundry to have a free-to-customers library agreement with both Artisan Components and Mentor Graphics. UMC Group now offers its customers two valuable options for 0.25 micron design libraries - complete with standard cells, extensive I/O, and single- and dual-port SRAM technologies," said Jim Ballingall, vice president of worldwide marketing, UMC Group (USA).

"We believe this library program is the first in the foundry industry to be completely free of charges to the customer," added Ballingall. "There are no license fees, use fees, instantiation fees. Furthermore, both vendors will provide free standard support and maintenance to customers for 12 months. As such, this program sets a new standard for dedicated foundry service, complementing our leadership in deep sub-micron manufacturing."

UMC Group's strategic alliances with third-party IP vendors go beyond these two complimentary library programs. Its "Silicon Shuttle?" test-chip program allows IP vendors and fabless design firms to prove their products in silicon at low or no cost, offering significant benefits to IP vendors and foundry customers. UMC Group is also manufacturing products from or otherwise cooperating with a wide range of IP vendors, including Analog Circuit Technologies, Dolphin Integration, Enabling Technology, LEDA Systems, Lexra, Pivotal Technologies, Portability, Rambus, RocketChips, SiPCore, and SSL.

Both 0.25-micron and 0.18-micron design kits are expected to be available by Q4 1998.

"We already have completed a successful 0.18-micron test chip, and anticipate a rich offering of design kits, libraries and IP available to support our process in the very near future. Our strategic partnerships with major players in the merchant library and IP field will be key to helping customers remove to our leading edge process technology," said Kupec.


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