Semiconductor Product Lifecycle Management

According to a survey conducted by Kalypso in 2006, semiconductor companies are facing significant challenges in product development. Key findings are summarized below:

  1. Only 45% of new product launches meet their original launch date
  2. More than 60% of all semiconductor designs require at least one re-spin
  3. Only 59% of semiconductor designs make it into production
  4. Over 40% of development projects exceed the planned budget
  5. Less than 60% of semiconductor projects hit their product cost targets
  6. 83% of issues identified during validation are design-related

The findings point to a need for much better new product development processes in semiconductor companies. The challenges for semiconductor companies are daunting:

  1. Mask cost is $2 million for 65 nm wafers. Mask cost is more than $4 million for 45 nm wafers
  2. Increased design complexities due to higher integration and smaller geometries
  3. Intellectual property is getting costlier and may not be readily available from 3rd parties.
  4. EDA tools need to be upgraded constantly and accurate models may not be available.
  5. New Packaging technology is getting significantly more complex, making it hard to simulate and predict performance
  6. The ecosystem of creating packaged products involve many parties, including foundries, quality, reliability, packaging, assembly houses, wafer probe and testing, operations, suppliers and many others. Too many moving pieces to get everything aligned.

I really like the block diagram in the Kalypso whitepaper written by Bill Poston and Joe Dury. I am reproducing it here for reference:

Source: Kalypso White Paper "Semiconductor Product LifeCycle Management"

 Each of the above deserves detailed discussion and consideration. Recognizing the importance of a well thought out Product Lifecycle Management process and system is the first step towards overcoming the challenges of new product development mentioned above.

You can read the full Kalypso paper here:


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