Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE:TXN) (TI) and Silicon Logic Engineering Inc. (SLE), have signed an agreement to jointly develop complex application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for TI customers in the wireless and wireline infrastructure, and high-performance computing markets.

Under the agreement, SLE will provide semiconductor design services and intellectual property (IP) to support the increasing demand for ASICs manufactured in TI's advanced 130nm and below process technologies. TI's manufacturing processes, combined with SLE's optimized design techniques, offer customers an attractive cost reduction and integration roadmap for their ASIC designs. The agreement with SLE also augments TI's ability to offer a turnkey "specification to production" engagement model that frees customers from resource-intensive ASIC implementation tasks.

"TI's collaborative approach to high-end ASIC design gives our customers access to the most experienced semiconductor design and manufacturing process expertise in the industry," said Steve Sutton, vice president of TI's ASIC business unit. "The agreement with SLE provides an additional route to 130nm designs without tying up our customer's mission-critical resources for RTL implementation."

At the leading edge of semiconductor manufacturing, the linkage between process technology and design is increasingly critical, requiring much higher levels of collaboration and customer interaction than have been offered by traditional ASIC vendors. Chip designers must also consider challenges that did not appear on designs implemented in older technologies. For example, device packaging must be considered early on because of its effect on I/O performance and signal integrity. Timing closure, test methodology and layout are also more closely affected by the manufacturing process and many OEMs are finding it easier to hand these concerns over to their ASIC supplier rather than dealing with them in-house.

"After reaffirming its intentions to continue being a major player in the ASIC market in November, 2002, this alliance with SLE adds further credence to the seriousness of TI's commitment," said Jerry Worchel, senior analyst for In-Stat/MDR.

SLE: High-end ASIC Specialists

With roots in the supercomputer industry, SLE has delivered more than 30 complex, right-first-time ASICs and system chips to a variety of networking and computing systems customers. SLE also specializes in...

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