IC verification labs see demand pick up for system vendors' self-developed chips

Julian Ho, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: WikiCommons

The efforts of system device vendors to develop new chips in-house have been stalled since the third quarter of 2022, but they have recently resumed their "acceleration track," according to sources at IC analysis and verification labs.

Apple is credited with starting the current trend of in-house semiconductor development. Many high-tech companies are following this path, whether for mobile phone chips or high-performance computing (HPC) chips.

New self-developed chips from vendors such as Cisco and Google have been made public one after the other. Chinese PC brand Lenovo is also accelerating its own chip development and plans to use the RISC-V architecture in its designs, the sources indicated.

Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Tesla are among the other companies interested in developing their own AI HPC chips, the sources said. Related IC analysis and verification labs are generally optimistic about demand for all those vendors' custom-built chips.

Historically, high-tech companies such as cloud service providers and hardware manufacturers relied heavily on the offerings of AMD, Broadcom, Nvidia, and other fabless chipmakers. Some vendors collaborate directly with chip partners such as Broadcom, as well as foundries and IC design service foundries.

TSMC, which provides IC analysis and verification services in-house, has also increased demand for Taiwan-based IC analysis and verification labs, the sources said. In recent years, the pure-play foundry's internal capacity has fallen short of demand, resulting in an increase in the number of outsourcing cases.

Meanwhile, demand for high-end customized IC testing sockets from OSATs and foundries' wafer-level backend operations has been strong, also buoyed by a wave of self-developed chips, according to the sources.