Chip development has become prohibitively expensive over time. While one person could design a chip in the 1960s, design teams can reach into the hundreds of engineers today. Products may take years to develop, and then the projects are turned over to third-party manufacturers, known as foundries, for production. The chips are more complex because the circuitry is so dense that chips can have billions of transistors on them, with the level of detail resembling a street map of the world.
Startups and new chip designs are the lifeblood of the semiconductor industry.New incubator , Silicon Catalyst targets startup with fewer than 10 employees and less than $2 million in funding.