Skip to main content

5 things you may not know about an ASIC

Ultimate optimization from custom ASICs

There are many advantages to having an ASIC developed for your next product. Some of these advantages you may be aware of, but some might be new to you. Here we detail some of these lesser known benefits.

1.    ASICs secure your Intellectual Property

Counterfeit of electronic systems is a lucrative market and one which costs manufacturer’s a lot of money every year.  In addition to the financial penalty, however, is the risk of exposing your confidential IP.  Years spent developing this IP to gain a leadership position, and now that IP can potentially be copied and sold, resulting in damage to your market position and ultimately costing you a lot of money. With an ASIC developed by Dialog Semiconductor, A Renesas Company, you can embed your IP in silicon and secure it. Having your know-how integrated into silicon means that it’s virtually impossible to duplicate, thereby securing your IP and helping you maintain your leadership in the market.

2.    Achieve superior performance

When developing a system using commercial off-the-shelf components, it is often necessary to select components that are of higher specification than what you require, purely to achieve the performance you need for your system. With an ASIC, the performance you require is the performance you get. With integration, you can offset a lot of the issues associated with wiring and PCB layout, for example, reducing your system noise and making your product less power hungry. An ASIC means no more over-specifying and no unnecessary functionality. With ASICs your system can attain the superior performance you require with no overheads.

3.    Create a differentiated product

When building your system using commercial off-the-shelf components, you have access to the same components as everyone else, making it more difficult to differentiate your product from your competitor’s solution. With an ASIC, you specify what you want from the product, and Dialog Semiconductor, A Renesas Company is your partner to develop the chip. The final chip will differentiate you from your peers by offering not only superior performance but also due to savings in cost/area enable you to leverage many more advantages into your product than would be possible with commercial components.

4.    Reduce your bill of material cost

Any purchasing department will understand the overhead (and headache) involved in managing the long and complicated bill of materials (BOM) lists for each product in their portfolio.  The management of components from multiple suppliers, all with different rules regarding ordering, lead time and minimum order quantities is complex. The balance in managing this so that an OEM does not have too much stock in inventory versus having enough to meet demand and ensure no lines go down is a constant challenge.  With an ASIC you can integrated onto a single chip a lot of the component functionality from your printed circuit board. This has the advantage of reducing the number of components on your BOM from hundreds or thousands down to a single custom IC. The end results are a simpler supply management and reduced knock-on costs associated with procuring multiple components versus a single component.

5.    No End of Life issues

Product discontinuance is something that OEMs must deal with on a regular basis, as older products get replaced by new variants. With products becoming end of life (EOL) the sourcing of exact replacements offers many challenges.  Best case, there is a pin for pin replacement that can be used with minimal re-certification required. Worst case, they may have to re-design the board to accommodate the replacement option if it is not pin-for-pin or performance equivalent. All these problems can be solved by using an ASICs, where you set the performance specification and you own the design. You can rest easy knowing you won’t have any future issues with obsolescence, and knowing you have a design partner always on-hand to help should you need them.

Partnering with Dialog means gaining these advantages from an ASIC. Our experienced team who have over 20 years’ experience developing ASICs to meet the performance demands of your product, on time and within budget look forward to discussing these advantages with you. For more information on our ASICs check out of website or contact our team today to discuss your requirements.