Changing The World, One Transaction At A Time

Real-time quoting for semiconductor transactions is hitting a nerve.

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It’s the season for foundry seminars. A few weeks ago, eSilicon exhibited at the TSMC Open Innovation Platform event in San Jose. This week, we were at the GLOBALFOUNDRIES Technical Seminar, also in San Jose. I talked with a lot of folks during both events – recited the elevator pitch many times (“who is eSilicon?”). Everybody has attention deficit disorder on a tradeshow floor. Fast explanations and quick responses are required. Something interesting happened many times during both shows, however.

I got through the standard desciption of what a fabless ASIC company is, what semiconductor design and manufacturing services are, and what kind of IP eSilicon offers with ease and speed. But when I started explaining our new online offerings around automated quoting and order tracking, things changed. Many quick conversations turned into much longer, philosophical discussions about the impact of what we were doing.

The comments included the following:

  • “It’s about time. The whole process is too cumbersome.”
  • “Wow, you mean I can find out in five minutes what this will cost? That’s a game changer.”
  • “This sounds like what I do on Amazon. Well done.”

Figure 1

There were a lot more, but you get the picture. It seems that online, near-real-time quoting for semiconductor transactions is hitting a nerve. The ability to perform “what if” experiments for mutli-project wafers (MPWs) and GDSII handoffs is changing buying patterns. The online portal usage data supports these notions. Our MPW quoting portal has been online for about a year now. Our GDSII quoting portal has been online a little over three months. To date, we’ve had more than 300 registrations to use these portals and those users have generated nearly 700 quotes. Interest has come from 43 counties. We are in the process of closing business in places we’ve never been to.

Figure 2

Another nice thing about online tools is the ability to get real-time user feedback and react to it quickly. We recently modified our homepage in response to feedback that it was too difficult to get to the online MPW and GDSII quoting portals once you have an account. It’s now quite easy to apply for an account and access these portals. We’ll see how the numbers change as a result of these modifications.

Do the usage trends for our online portals suggest there is a change underway in the semiconductor industry? I believe so. Will it change the world? Well, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see about that. In the meantime, we’re conducting a webinar on November 12th to discuss these, and other topics. It’s entitled “Semiconductors Go Online and Worldwide.” Bill Brennan from Credo Semi, Ron Jew from IDT and Mahesh Tirupattur from Analog Bits will join us to share their experiences using the MPW and GDSII quoting portals. Please join us– we’d love to hear your opinions.