Slang used primarily by semiconductor companies to describe the sending of a completed chip design to the fab. The term supposedly comes from the paper tapes that used to contain the instructions for generating the mask images.

A tape out is often well celebrated. Company-sponsored parties are fairly common. Where I work, the terms kegger and tape out are synonymous.

The process of creating the optical mask for a semiconductor device was originally done by laying pieces of tape representing the various parts of the chip on large tables. These layouts, or masks, would then be photographically reduced and used to selectively expose various layers of a chip to light in the manufacturing process.

Long after the time of handmade masks, the creation of the datafiles for a chip's manufacture is still referred to as a "tapeout."

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