n. A company that fab
s chips to the designs
of others. As of the late 1980s, the combination of silicon
foundries and good computer-aided design software made it much
easier for hardware-designing startup companies to come into being.
The downside of using a silicon foundry is that the distance from
the actual chip-fabrication processes reduces designers' control of
detail. This is somewhat analogous to the use of HLL
coding in assembler.