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Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM)

A semiconductor company that designs, manufactures, and sells integrated circuits (ICs).
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Description

A semiconductor company that designs, manufactures, and sells integrated circuits (ICs) is an integrated device manufacturer (IDM). A traditional IDM owns its own branded chips and does the design in-house and has a fabrication plant where it manufactures its ICs.

Intel is an example of an IDM.

In the early days of semiconductor industry, when IC complexity was low and IC design, fabrication and test processes were forming, the IDM worked well. In a mature semiconductor industry where the product complexity is high, it is impractical and cost prohibitive for one company to handle all the processes. An ecosystem environment, where design and manufacturing tasks are handled in different locations by separate companies, means each ecosystem member can focus on its expertise. Intellectual property (IP) designers, fabless chip design houses or fabless semiconductor companies that own the chip brand, and pure-play foundries (such as TSMC) who make the chips, along with OSATs who package and test are all players in an ecosystem environment. An ecosystem brings some inefficiencies with it, but the overall gains are higher.


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