Frequently asked questions


General

I have some questions, who do I contact?


Email geoff@musesemi.com for any commercial, legal, or schedule topics and bill@musesemi.com for any technical, technology, and IP topics. When in doubt just email both of us. We will respond promptly and if it makes sense will schedule a phone discussion to respond to your questions efficiently. You may also use the "Chat with us!" link, in the lower right had corner of our website, for a real time chat.




Where are the people I will be working with located?


We are located in San Jose, California and Denver, Colorado.




Will Muse support projects from commercial companies?


Yes! Semiconductor startups and semiconductor IP suppliers can access TSMC technology cost effectively with responsive support from Muse.




What legal agreements will I need to complete to work with Muse?


We have structured Muse to have a lightweight legal requirement for customers. We require only two agreements. One is a Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (MNDA). In many instances we are able to sign our customer's MNDA form without alteration. The second is a TSMC 3-way NDA between Muse, TSMC, and the customer. This enables us to share TSMC confidential information, such as PDKs and Design Rule Manuals with our customer. A third agreement, the Master Technology Usage Agreement, is required if you would like access to TSMC IP such as standard cell libraries, I/O libraries, and memories.




Why is your company named Muse Semiconductor?


Two reasons. The first is that in greek mythology a muse was a source of knowledge. We would love to be a source of knowledge to our customers. The second is that our focus is serving the MPW needs of university circuit researchers and MUSe is an acronym for MPW University Service to remind us of our goal.





Tapeout Services

Which foundries does Muse support?


We support TSMC exclusively.




Which TSMC technologies does Muse support?


We support all TSMC technologies. Our website provides information for those technologies that are frequently requested. If you are interested in a technology that is not detailed on our website please email geoff@musesemi.com to request information.




What are your preliminary and final GDS upload deadlines?


We understand that the more time you have to work on a project the better and therefore we strive to make our deadlines as close to TSMC's deadline as possible. Our deadline for preliminary GDS and final GDS upload is only 14 days and 7 days prior to tapeout respectively. Our deadlines for preliminary and final GDS are the same for both full block and shared block tapeouts.




Can I access a PDK through Muse?


Yes, we support access to TSMC PDKs. To request PDK access please email geoff@musesemi.com.




I have some questions about installing the PDK, can Muse help?


Yes, please email bill@musesemi.com if you have questions about PDK installation.




Will I be able to access TSMC IP such as standard cells libraries, I/O libraries, and memory compilers through Muse Semiconductor?


Yes we support access to TSMC IP. In most cases this IP can be provided at no cost. To request TSMC IP access please email geoff@musesemi.com.




What is the minimum die area?


The minimum die area varies by technology. Additionally Muse offers shared block MPW tapeout services for popular technologies which reduces the minimum area to as little as 1mm2. Following are the minimum die areas by technology.




How many samples will I receive?


Sample quantity is determined by the technology's wafer size. 300mm diameter wafers receive 100 samples and 200mm diameter wafers receive 40 samples. The sample quantity that you will receive for each technology is as follows.




Can I order additional samples?


Additional samples can be ordered either at the time of tapeout or up to 6 months after tapeout. Samples must be ordered in increments of the sample quantity. Additional samples can be ordered in any quantity prior to tapeout. After tapeout the minimum order quantity is three times the sample quantity for the technology. For example, the sample quantity for 65nm is 100 samples and the minimum additional sample quantity if ordered after tapeout is 300 samples.




How do I get a quote?


Email the following details about your project to geoff@musesemi.com to request a quote.

  1. Technology (nm):
  2. Flavor:
  3. Metal option:
  4. Die x (mm):
  5. Die y (mm):
  6. Core (V):
  7. I/O (V):
  8. MiM Cap density if used (fF/um2):
  9. Sub die if any:
  10. Reservation tape-in date:




How do I make an MPW reservation?


Email the following project details to geoff@musesemi.com). Many TSMC shuttles sell out and we therefore encourage reservations to be made as far in advance as possible.

  1. Technology (nm):
  2. Flavor:
  3. Metal option:
  4. Die x (mm):
  5. Die y (mm):
  6. Core (V):
  7. I/O (V):
  8. MiM Cap density if used (fF/um2):
  9. Sub die if any:
  10. Reservation tape-in date:




What if I need to reschedule or cancel my project?


You may reschedule or cancel your project via email without charge 8 days prior to the TSMC tape-in date.





Additional Services

Will Muse separate sub die for me?


Yes, we separate sub die for customers.




Can Muse insert the seal ring for me?


Yes we can insert the seal ring for your project. This saves our customers time from having to do it themselves. Please note that the seal ring insertion service is not offered for projects with sub die.




Can Muse Semiconductor run the dummy fill utility on my design?


No, we are not offering a dummy fill service at this time. If you are having trouble using the dummy fill utility please email bill@musesemi.com.




Can I choose the wafer thickness of my MPW samples?


Yes, we support backgrinding to a wafer thicknesses between 6-12mils. Please note that backgrindig to a thickness less than 11mils adds 7 additional days of cycle time to MPW sample manufacturing.




Can I receive my samples in whole wafer form?


Yes, you can receive your samples in whole wafer form. However, other customer's projects on the wafer will be removed. The process of removing the other projects makes the whole wafer option suitable as a probe wafer only and not for any other back end processing.




Will Muse assemble my MPW samples into a package?


We support the following ceramic packages. Please email geoff@musesemi.com for a quote.




Can I have my samples bumped?


Yes, we support bumped samples for technologies 130nm and smaller.




Can I order corner/skew wafers?


Yes, you may order corner/skew wafers. The initial samples included with your order will be from the typical-typical corner. The price for a corner/skew wafer is the same as the price for an additional wafer.





Shared Block Tapeouts

What is a shared block tapeout?


Our shared tapeout service aggregates multiple customer projects to meet TSMC's minimum area requirement. The main benefit of the shared block tapeout is that it enables cost effective access to leading edge TSMC technologies for small die sizes.




What technologies do you support for shared tapeouts?


The technologies we support for shared block tapeouts are here. We are investigating adding TSMC 180nm HV BCD Gen2 to our shared block tapeout service. If you are interested in TSMC 180nm HV BCD Gen2, or other technology, shared block tapeout service please email geoff@musesemi.com.




Will I need to coordinate with other customers to use your shared tapeout service?


No, Muse handles all of the aggregation tasks from identifying the shared tapeout participants to reserving the area to integrating and submitting all of the projects to TSMC for tapeout. As a shared tapeout customer you will only be responsible for submitting your individual project.




Where can I find the shared tapeout schedule?


Our shared tapeout schedule can be found here. You can register to receive an email with upcoming shared tapeout opportunities the first Monday of every month here.





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