CSS Mixed Signal ASIC Solutions

From Concept through Production,
your Mixed Signal ASIC Solution.

Keith

A "What-If" Analysis

October 2nd, 2013 by Keith

•    What if you could reduce the power to your system an by order of magnitude?
•    What if you could cut the cost of your bill of materials (BOM) for your product in half?
•    What if you could improve the accuracy of your analog circuits?
•    What if you could significantly reduce the size of your system?
•    What if you could improve the reliability of your system?

Question

You should consider a custom mixed-signal ASIC for your electronic system.

Power Reduction: Power consumption is often a concern in system design, especially for battery powered applications.  Custom designed analog and digital circuitry in an ASIC can often reduce power consumption by an order of magnitude.   Take for example the CSS555 Timer circuit designed at CSS.  Compared to CMOS 555 timers on the market today, the CSS555 timer power is reduced by at least a factor of 10 (CSS555 active current is 3 micro amps!).

Reduced BOM Cost:  A custom mixed-signal ASIC can significantly reduce your production costs.  This is often the primary motivating factor for developing an ASIC.  The cost of a custom mixed-signal ASIC that replaces standard IC reduces both the component cost and the board assembly cost.  Typically such an ASIC replaces 90% of the existing board components.

Improved Analog Accuracy:  Analog performance may also improve with a mixed-signal ASIC.  Here, CSS has a particular advantage.  We have developed the capability to trim important analog functions using non-volatile memory (EEPROM) cells built into the ASIC.  For example, with this capability we can trim out production variations and set amplifier gains as needed to meet critical specifications.

Reduced Size:  Of course, an ASIC is much smaller than all of the Standard ICs that it may replace.  So, if this is one of your requirements, a custom ASIC may be the only solution.  You can further reduce size by selection of a small surface mount package, such as a QFN package.  CSS has access to a wide variety of small packages and packaging facilities to meet your needs.

Improved Reliability:  A custom ASIC will also improve the reliability of your system.  The reduction in component count and their required interconnects at the board level provides for a significant improvement in reliability.

Development Costs:  In considering the development of a custom ASIC, you need to consider the cost and technical aspects of an ASIC development.  The development costs (NRE), including the ASIC design, mask fabrication, test development and prototype fabrication, often need to be compared to the savings gained in production.   With a reasonably high level of production the development NRE can often be recovered in a year or so.

Necessary Experience: How much knowledge of ASIC development is required and what internal resources are necessary for your development to be successful?  Our customers are always pleased to find that they can acquire a mixed signal ASIC without the need to dedicate staff to the job or to cope with all of the technical aspects.  We provide a turn-key ASIC solution.

What should you do?  If you are at all interested in an ASIC you should give us a call at (949) 797-9220 or use our contact form.  For more general information, please review our website.

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