Introduction to SPADE
With a total annual market
of US$150 billion , the already proven semiconductor industry will
be a vital industry for years to come. As suggested by the MIT team in
the "Made by Hong Kong" report, Hong Kong has all the ingredients to be
a strong player in the lucrative semiconductor design arena . Presently,
there are over forty semiconductor companies in Hong Kong. Of these companies,
some are semiconductor design and manufacturing companies, some are simply
"fabless" design houses, and the remaining are semiconductor user companies.
In the near future, as Hong Kong transforms into a knowledge-based economy,
the number of semiconductor companies will grow significantly. All of them
need , and will continue to need, product analysis, design enhancement,
and failure analysis facilities in order to produce advanced products and
do well in this lucrative, high value-added semiconductor business. At
the present moment, many local semiconductor companies cannnot produce
high value-added semiconductor products because of the lack of facilities
that solve problems due to "first silicon failure". In addition, there
are also many semiconductor user companies that require die-level failure
analysis facilities to analyse the failure problems in their products.
The Semiconductor Product Analysis and Design Enhancement (SPADE) Center
is playing a vital role in building the basic infrastructure to support
the local semiconductor companies as well as to help attract non-local
semiconductor companies to open their design and development offices in
Hong Kong. The SPADE Center is providing services to the companies. It
analyses their designs and products when their silicon prototypes are available
in the form of silicon wafers or silicon dies. Design and product errors
can be debugged, corrected, and optimised in this center, and, in the end,
high value-added semiconductor products can be produced.
 Source:Cahners In-StatGroup (1999)
 Berger and Lester, "Made by Hong Kong", Oxford University Press, 1997.