IBM unveils e-business tool to speed microchip designs

February 26, 2001–East Fishkill, New York–IBM Corp. today announced an interactive Internet-based microchip design environment to help customers speed development of high-performance custom chips.

IBM’s new Internet-based design environment is intended to help customers improve turn-around-time and ensure the accuracy of chip designs, while allowing them to take advantage of IBM’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing technologies like copper wiring and low-k dielectric insulation.

“We’re providing a new way for engineers to collaborate and create chip designs in real-time on the web, reducing the development cycle of custom chips,” says Jeff VerHeul, vice president of product development for IBM Microelectronics. “IBM’s Internet-based initiative is designed to offer a secure development environment which is available anytime, anywhere in the world, which can help customers cut development costs, increase productivity, and speed time-to-market.”

Today, many of the advanced chips IBM builds to power products like servers and communications gear are custom-designed to provide a particular function or feature not found in standard microprocessors. Makers of these products depend on customized chips for the unique features that differentiate them in the market. The current custom chip design process requires a detailed and time-consuming exchange of design data, tools, and technical information between customers and IBM engineers.

IBM’s Internet-enabled design system provides a secure, real-time, on-line design collaboration environment. A Java-capable web browser enables users to share chip design applications with IBM engineers, and access design kits, software tools, and related product information. The interactive environment is intended to help engineers quickly identify and fix design issues, and secure personalized education and support needed to complete a custom chip design.

The web-based development environment supports custom chip offerings from IBM’s Blue Logic ASIC design system, including Cu-11, SA-27E, SA-27, SA-12E, SA-12 and 5SE.

IBM plans to roll out its Internet design environment to a pilot set of ASIC customers in the first half of 2001. The design environment will be available to qualified registered users of the IBM Edge e-business portal at


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