6 Tips to Ease Yourself into Using Analog ASICs
When considering a new ASIC design, consider the role Analog will play in its deployment. To minimize risk, choose your ASIC development partner carefully. Many times, basic Mixed-Signal ASIC design skills will be insufficient. Always seek out an Analog ASIC partner with the right Analog design skills and experience to match the application.
#1. It’s easy to integrate complex Analog functions into an ASIC.
Rule number one is don’t limit yourself to a Mixed-Signal ASIC supplier that uses Analog blocks from a library. Libraries limit the creativity and functionality that you can integrate. Use a company that has extremely well experienced Analog Engineers who have a history of invention (patents).
#2. Mixed-Signal does not mean the same thing as Analog.
Mixed-Signal implies lots of Digital and a little Analog. Review the offerings of many so-called Mixed-Signal companies…Analog is more-or-less an after thought for them. Industrial controls, sensor interfaces, etc are primarily Analog functions. Use Analog capability to solve Analog problems.
#3. You don’t need to be making an iPhone to afford an Analog ASIC.
After amortizing the tooling and NRE costs over the lifetime expected volume, you may be surprised by the real savings you can achieve. Analog integration is easy for experienced companies to accomplish… call one today and find out.
#4. Using existing IP from Analog Cell Libraries usually means you must compromise the performance of your product.
Refer to rule #1. Libraries contain basic blocks that solve basic problems. If you need an instrumentation amplifier with a precise gain of 97.3 in your ASIC system, forget it if your supplier is using Cell Libraries. Custom Analog design will assure you the best end-product solution.
#5. If you spending the money for an ASIC, demand product differentiation.
Cell Libraries are a great way to ensure your product is no better than your competition. Heck, he probably used the same cell library your supplier did. How can you be better than him?
#6. Know when to say “no.”
There is an economic balance when defining Analog ASICs… a balance between cost and adding too much low-value functionality to the design. A good Analog ASIC company will guide you thru this carefully. Bigger is not always better.