Research Reimagined – Introducing eMUSe

By Mike Gianfagna on 06/14/2016

Who is eSilicon?

Multi-project wafer (MPW) use for semiconductor research has been steadily rising over the past decade. With that, there have been some growing pains. Predictable technology access, cost, cycle time, decoding process options and access to IP are just a few of the challenges faced by semiconductor researchers. eSilicon is a fabless ASIC company. We’ve been around for over 15 years, delivering a variety of prototype and production services to companies of all sizes.


Part of our mission is to digitize the semiconductor design and manufacturing process using the Internet – transparent, predictable access to semiconductor technology for all, regardless of team size or geographic location. Over the past few years, we’ve built a platform that is starting to deliver on this vision. It offers some significant benefits for the research community.

What is eMUSe?


eMUSe stands for eSilicon MPW University Services. It is an umbrella term that describes a complete experience for semiconductor researchers – advanced Internet technology, world-class service and a community of fellow researchers. eMUSe is changing the way semiconductor research is done. Our online technology makes finding the right MPW process, schedule and cost simple and intuitive. No phone calls or paperwork, just free access to answers, 24/7. World-class service provides the right guidance, IP and on-time delivery. And our growing community allows for some significant cost reduction and information sharing.

eSilicon STAR – technology for answers, all the time

STAR is an online platform that delivers a self-service, transparent, accurate, real-time experience for semiconductor researchers. Getting an account is easy and free. Once you do, you can browse MPW schedules and pricing for several fabs with MPW Explorer, generate accurate quotes in seconds and reserve your MPW run, all online. In the near future, you’ll also be able to manage the entire project online, from handling all the documentation requirements to directly uploading your GDSII design. We also believe in celebrating success. Every research team that tapes out an MPW design with us gets a pizza party, courtesy of eSilicon.


Using Navigator, you can browse eSilicon’s library of standard, off-the-shelf IP – extensive memory configurations and I/O libraries for many foundries, from 14nm to 180nm. Any user can create a memory subsystem online and download the front-end views and PPA data for free. Basically “try before you buy” IP. What is unique for our research customers is this: the back end views of the IP you need are also available free of charge. Yes, free stuff for our research customers.

We know it’s difficult to find the IP you need for a research project, and getting back-end views is even tougher. eSilicon is here to help. We just ask that you use the IP for research purposes only – no commercial applications through a third party or a startup. We can support your needs there as well, including volume production, through our traditional fabless ASIC business. All the details about our free IP offer are on the eSilicon website.

We currently have over 1,000 users of the STAR platform in over 50 countries around the world. Join the movement – register for a STAR account.

World-class service


You just finished your 65nm test chip. It’s 2mm X 2mm, but the foundry minimum block size is 12 mm2. Now what? You could wait for your colleagues down the hall to finish their design and share the space. But that could take months. You could try a sharing tapeout from your existing supplier, but those only run a couple times a year. Or, you can contact eSilicon. We run sharing tapeouts for popular technologies every month. And because of our huge worldwide user base, we can find the right designs to fill the foundry minimum block size. So feel free to book what you need, down to 1 mm2 in most cases.

Beyond the size of the block, are you also struggling with the cost? Remember that eSilicon is also a major fabless ASIC supplier. We buy a lot of wafers, and that helps us get better pricing for you. Shared prices like this:

  • 65nm MPW: $4,700 / mm2
  • 40nm MPW: $7,500 / mm2
  • 28nm MPW: $15,000 / mm2

We’re updating our shared MPW run opportunities all the time. Check out the latest MPW shuttle sharing offers.

We know design schedules can be challenging. While we do need to meet the foundry-required delivery date for GDSII input, we can give you more time to get the design done. Initial GDSII delivery one week before the deadline and final GDSII delivery two days before the deadline. And there’s also that eSilicon-sponsored pizza party after tapeout.

Join the community – change the world

We are in awe of the research being done by our university clients. We have no doubt that some it will indeed change the world someday. Your job is to innovate and not negotiate the semiconductor technology access maze. This is where we can help. eMUSe from eSilicon lets you get your idea realized in silicon with minimal cost and effort – leaving you more time to work on the truly hard stuff.

Research reimagined