The Many Benefits Of An ASIC
There are many good reasons to design an ASIC into a product. Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) are tailor fit solutions that bring high functionality and efficient use of resources to a target application. An ASIC can realize in a single IC, the functional equivalent of what takes an array of external parts to achieve in a discrete implementation, saving space, power, and cost. Modern ASIC design offers a flexibility to system architecture, configurable to provide tailor fit utility to an application. Configuration choices are based on application need, such as cramming many channels of the same function on a single large die for maximizing space reduction, or alternatively, providing a distributable single channel function on a very small die that can be co-located where the resource is needed.
Flexible system architecture along with a broad offering of functional blocks mean that ASIC technology is readily adapted to achieve very high value for a given application. Many purpose built configurations can be implemented. Combinations of power-up reset, voltage regulation, signal conditioning, phase lock loop, analog to digital converter, digital to analog converter, serial interface, fail safe monitoring, and a host of other functions can be all on the same die as required.
A well conceived ASIC can provide a host of benefits to a system solution, including, product cost reduction, reduced footprint (small size), packaging and obfuscation of intellectual property, low power operation, parts reduction, and increased reliability. While cost reduction for large volume applications is a common rational for implementing an ASIC, it is not the only one. For example, in the biomedical world, low power, small size, and high reliability are often vital to success of an application. Even if the biomedical application will not be used in the high volume required to achieve a very low piece price, the design constraints of low power, small size, and high reliability vital to the applications success may not actually be realizable in a discrete implementation. Sometimes functional goals alone, can dictate use of ASIC technology.
ASIC technology offers many compelling reasons to implement an ASIC design such as, packaging of Intellectual property (IP) for licensing into the market, obfuscation of technology used for signal processing, secure applications that cannot tolerate access to intermediate signals or data streams, ultra-low power applications such as RFID and energy harvesting, etc. ASIC technology has continued to evolve over the years, offering a wide range of technology and cost saving solutions that are more approachable than ever, stemming from the array of mature processes and advanced development tools.
ASIC Technology Offers Many Benefits:
- Product cost reduction
- Footprint reduction
- Intellectual Property (IP) protection
- Closed form solution licensing
- Secure signal processing
- Obfuscation of technology
- Commoditizing core technology for broader use
- Low power
- Improved reliability
ASIC Solutions are More Tangible than You May Think
System To ASIC makes implementation of a custom tailored integrated solution (ASIC) very approachable. STA has cultured an ASIC development path that removes an enormous amount of development risk and cost. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience in successful ASIC implementations, our fundamental approach is to invest up front to develop a thorough understanding of specific application requirements. This goes well beyond just what a client is initially asking of an ASIC design and into the realm of understanding detailed objectives of the target application. We become empowered to leverage our ASIC expertise as a design partner and make recommendations toward system architecture, technology selection, and the role an ASIC can play in the system. Our recommendations are driven to achieve a balance of objectives including, technological risk, development schedule, development cost, piece price, and overall value add to the target system.
Regardless of reason(s) compelling ASIC implementation, integrating a custom solution is not the daunting, risk laden burden it has been in the past. System To ASIC has developed a problem solving tool set to ease development and transition into production. Our tools include, access to many tried and true readily available process nodes (geometry) with excellent behavior models, advanced design tools, unique engagement toward understanding application goals, and extensive ASIC design experience gained through 25+ years of successful design implementations. STA makes ASIC based solutions more tangible and valuable than ever.
System To ASIC Provides Turn-Key ASIC Solutions:
- Complete project management from development to production
- Single point of responsibility
- Matching ASIC technology to application needs
- Advanced development tool set
- Extensive experience in analog and mixed signal design
- Detailed knowledge of ASIC fabrication process
- Full coverage ASIC test and calibration plan