On 29.07.2016 12:49, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote: > ASICs are usually much faster than any of the programmable type, require > less power and are smaller, simply because they were specifically designed > for their particular application. However, since designing a chip in die > is quite expensive, it's normally only chosen when large numbers of the > chip are expected to be produced. Hi all, With high volumes, the programmable logic arrays and FPGA's become faster and faster all the time due to being able to use tighter processes. Depending on the process you compare with, they can be even faster. The older 035 and 025 technologies are pretty affordable, the starting expenses are not prohibitively high if you can integrate enough of the required external components and have volumes reaching 100000. Also the 018 process becomes cheaper all the time. > If a chip designer orders a design from a fab, they have to meet a minimum > number of orders and pay for the chips upfront which means it's really only > chosen when the designer can expect to be able to sell it in large > quantities, e.g. an MP3 decoder. There are plenty of steps required to bring a design into an ASIC and into production. For one, the design needs to be synthesizable VHDL or similar. Just any VHDL code does not suffice. The fab usually sells processed wafers, and the yield varies. You may have wafer test so you don't have to pay for the packaging of all of the failed dies, but if the expected yield is good enough you may just have final test for the packaged die. (If you lose less money scrapping failed chips than the wafer test would cost.) The web pages of our company are not always the best to find information from, but the generic steps of an ASIC can be found from http://www.vlsi.fi/en/services.html for anyone interested. The example of mp3 decoder fits both well and poorly. Our company produces audio decoder IC's as standard products. While they are practically ASIC's to us, they are not ASIC's to our customers - they are standard products for them. Due to having a processor core in the product, patches, new features and even whole (small) applications can be implemented, so the customer can differentiate their product using that. (And can upgrade/downgrade to a different version due to pin-compatibility depending on which features they need.) -Pasi > > Adrian > Message was sent through the cbm-hackers mailing listReceived on 2016-07-29 11:01:07
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