July 28, 2016, anysilicon
Tape out is a major milestone in every ASIC project lifecycle. It means the design phase is completed and you are ready to send out the GDSII to the fab for production.
The term “tape out” was coined in 70’s. Historically, engineered used a magnetic tape to store all the ASIC design files. The event of carrying out the tape to the foundry was thus called “tape out”.
Before wafer production can start, a Maskset needs to be ready. Foundries have mask making partners and use them to produce masksets optimized for project requirements.
Creation of a maskset is often the most expensive NRE-related cost in ASIC production.