Back End is used in the semiconductor industry to refer to the last steps of many different processes in the design and manufacture of integrated circuits. During the design of a custom IC designers talk about the Front End and Back End of design. In digital design a front-end designer focuses on RTL entry and simulation and may or may not run synthesis. The front-end designer gives his design database (RTL or gate-level netlist) to a back-end designer or team of designers to perform: synthesis, scan insertion, floor planning, place & route, extraction, static timing analysis and pre-fabrication design rule checking. In analog design a front end designer again focuses on design creation but this time using schematics and SPICE simulation. Note an analog designer could also use a hardware description language like Verilog-A or VHDL-AMS. The analog or mixed signal design is simulated by the front end designer. In analog design, the back end of the process may be handled by a layout engineer that performs the full custom layout of the transistors of the circuit. When the design goes to the semiconductor foundry front-end and back-end have different meanings. At the foundry the front-end is often referred to as front-end-of-line (FEOL) and the back-end is likewise designated as back-end-of-line (BEOL) processing. The FEOL involves the processing of the semiconductor wafers up to the contact layer. The BEOL processing involves creating the metal interconnecting layers, vias and dielectric isolation layers. These BEOL layers serve as the interconnecting wires between the circuits that were created in the FEOL or front-end semiconductor processing steps. After the semiconductor wafer leaves the IC fab, another back end set of processing begins. Many in the IC industry refer to the post wafer fabrication processing steps as the back end. Post IC fab, back end means packaging, final test and distribution of packages ICs to customers. In this back end the wafers may be thinned, separated into individual dice by sawing, packaged, run through a production test system, placed on tape and reel or trays, boxed and shipped to the customer.
The semiconductor industry has front-end and back-end stages for design, wafer fabrication and package/test. Triad seamlessly manages all front and back end process steps throughout the design and manufacturing process. We think it is key to your success that we are involved in all stages of the design, manufacturing and delivery process. Our team is well verses in all phases of custom IC design and fabrication. Early in the design cycle, we involve quality, production test, reliability and logistics experts so that design for test and design for manufacturing decisions can be made that will deliver optimization in product cost, time to market, and reduced development risk.