How to Obtain ASIC Turnkey Services from TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES?

September 17, 2012, anysilicon

Pure-play foundries are offering vanilla flavor services, meaning one can buy only wafers. ASIC design, testing, packaging and supply chain services are not part of their service offering.

Large IDM players, who manage their own supply chain, seek this type of engagement because they prefer to own the supply chain in order to get better control over price and quality. IDMs usually buy untested-wafers and use different assembly houses to perform both assembly and test.  They manage the entire supply chain internally.

However, if you belong to a smaller company, or a system house, you may not want to deal with supply chain issues and prefer to focus on your core competencies rather than deal with manufacturing challenges. Which means, you’ll be looking for a subcontractor to run and manage your entire ASIC supply chain.

Both TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES are engaged with several official partners to offer supply chain services. These subcontractors offer different services which are translated to different value proposition. It’s up to you to select the right ecosystem for your ASIC project.

So, if you wish to buy a full turnkey solution based on one of the top two pure-play foundries you may want to contact one of their authorized partner which is focused on providing full turnkey services — delivering good-tested ICs.

In this post I will focus on the two big fabs: TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES.


TSMC’s Partner Program

TSMC established a VCA (Value Channel Aggregator) partner program that is a region based: USA, Europe and APAC. Every region has a few partners that can help customers with wafer sourcing, package, test, supply chain and often some design services and IPs.

Some partners have permission to operate worldwide but others are strictly limited to specific areas. But they all can assist with TSMC related services that vary from MPW to full ASIC production services that includes ASIC design, layout and IP integration.

There are 8 VCA members:

Alchip — www.alchip.com

eSilicon — www.esilicon.com

Open-Silicon — www.open-silicon.com

Imec – www.imec.be

ADT – www.adtek.co.kr

ICC — www.icc.sh.cn/eng/index.htm

GUC — www.globalunichip.com



GLOBALSOLUTIONS program was estblished in 2010 and is GLOBALFOUNDRIES ecosystem that combines the company’s internal resources with a broad spectrum of partners. GLOBALSOLUTION is a relativily new partner program which was introducted when GLOBALFOUNDRIES was officialy born, therefore the number of partners in the program is lower than TSMC’ VCA program but will have to increase in order to offer more flexibility to the customers.


SoCLE – http://www.socle-tech.com/

eSilicon — www.esilicon.com

Open-Silicon — www.open-silicon.com

Hitachi ULSI — www.hitachi-ul.co.jp/en/index.html

JFE — http://www.jfe-shoji-ele.co.jp

VeriSilicon — http://www.verisilicon.com/en/


Partner’s Ecosystem

Some of the direct, authorized partners have decided to establish their own ecosystem which extend their value proposition. The ecosystem is still authorized, and you may meet new suppliers that can provide either TSMC or GLOBALSOLUTION technologies which are not listed here but do collaborate with them.


In the long run, other Pure-play foundries will need to create and support an ecosystem for their full turnkey customers, TSMC’s VCA program is a good example for a flexible and comprehensive solution that can be easily copied by other foundries. GLOBALFOUNDRIES which is relatively a new company, has already established an ecosystem and will continue expanding the presence and competitiveness via partners.

Have we missed YOU from TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES partner list? please let us know.