In contrast to Multi-Project Wafers (MPW) or prototype runs, a production run allows the Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO) client to produce unlimited wafer quantities. Prior to entering the production stage, the design must complete a successful prototyping and testing phase. Only then may an acknowledgement of prototype success be submitted with the first production order. The prototype mask set would be used to fabricate the production parts. The production phase officially begins when the first production order is placed.
Untested production wafer pricing is typically provided in the prototype quotation (tested production wafer pricing can be provided upon request). The TAPO can provide estimated costs through a Request for Information (RFI) for a production run. To receive either actionable quotes or estimates, TAPO clients must submit their requests through the TAPO online Customer Request Form. When completing the online form, customers should mark their fabrication requests as "production". Access to this form is granted with an approved customer request for a TAPO website account. To request an account, select "Login" from the "TAPO" dropdown menu.
The successful delivery of production parts relies very heavily on maintaining an accurate wafer forecast. TAPO provides GFUS2 with a monthly updated technology mix and product demand forecast that covers a rolling 12 month period. All production clients must provide adequate capacity reservation information and best case supply with accurate 12 month production forecasting. Forecasts covering a period outside the 12 month window are useful for planning purposes. It is important to keep in mind that a production run is a build to order process. While a typical product lead-time is three months, it may change subject to fabrication capacity and other variables.