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Average Silicon Design Cost for SoCs Across all Geometries was $4.8M in 2019, says Semico Research

The semiconductor industry today is faced with several substantial issues-not the least of which are the continuing rise in design costs for complex SoCs, the decrease in the incidence of first-time-right designs and the increase in the design cycle time against shrinking market windows. Analysis of design activity for the three types of SoC shows that while design costs at new nodes continue to increase, the average design cost at each node is not increasing as quickly, giving room for designers to still accomplish their silicon solutions at reasonable costs if they are prudent in their design selection. A new report from Semico Research, Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis: The Impact of AI in EDA Tools (SC103-20), states that theaverage silicon design cost for SoCs across all geometries was $4.8M in 2019.
"The introduction of EDA tools that include some level of AI functionality aimed at making designers more efficient and productive in their design efforts is a promising trend. As we have seen with other types of design tools introduced to the market, once deployed there is a continual improvement in performance and functionality," says Rich Wawrzyniak, Principal Market Analyst for ASIC & SoC at Semico. "It is reasonable to expect the same from the new AI-empowered EDA tools with continual improvements being offered to designers. We believe this will be especially notable in the areas of SPICE modeling, simulation, verification and architectural exploration."
Key findings of the report include:

  • Silicon design costs at the 5nm node for an Advanced Performance Multicore SoC first-time effort are projected to be 31% higher than at the 7nm node.
  • Software design costs for Advanced Performance Multicore SoCs through the 2nm process node are forecast to grow at a 51.1% CAGR.
  • IP Integration costs are rising at a 56.8% CAGR through the 5nm node.
  • EDA tools with AI and ML functionality could produce design cost savings of 25-30%.

In a unique, insightful look at this constantly evolving market, Semico Research's new report, Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis: The Impact of AI in EDA Tools (SC103-20), examines the primary forces and integration pressures that are driving this market today in 136 pages, with 46 tables and 76 graphs. This study analyzes many important questions facing the semiconductor industry today including:

  1. What is the current cost for a Complex System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design, and what will it be in the near future?
  2. Is it possible to do SoC designs without maximizing the costs for these designs?
  3. What is the incidence of 'first-time-right' for these designs today and in the near future?
  4. How is the design cycle time for these designs changing?
  5. How do complicated software applications impact the design costs?
  6. How fast are IP integration costs rising, and how high will they go?
  7. What strategies are designers using to cope with rising design costs?
  8. What is the average silicon design cost today for each process geometry and SoC type, and how quickly is it rising?
  9. What impact will EDA tools that include some artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) functionality have on design costs for complex silicon?