ASIC Redesign – The Answer for Discontinued Parts
MAZeT GmbH, specialized in the development and custom production of embedded systems and optoelectronics, devised a redesign strategy for digital and mixed-signal ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) as an answer to discontinued parts. With this move, MAZeT is guaranteeing the future operability of existing electronics developments. “ASICs offer significant benefits compared to standard ICs,” explains Dr. Fred Grunert, Managing Director of MAZeT. “An electronics concept geared towards a specific application contains precisely the required function range, which consequently reduces costs and results in a compact solution. The electrical properties are also improved. On the downside, parts are only available for approx. six to eight years, and stock-keeping is limited to no more than two years. To help companies struggling with these issues, MAZeT developed the redesign solution. A redesign increases availability and also makes it possible to further optimize the ASIC.”
Digital and Mixed-Signal ASICs
There are purely digital and mixed-signal ASICs. As concerns the redesign of digital ASICs, various methods are available, such as, for instance, mask-programmable and standard-cell technology or replacement with a programmable logic module. A mixed-signal ASIC contains digital modules as well as an analog part of variable size. The redesign effort is reduced by using analog or digital IPs, a database that is as complete as possible, comprehensive and detailed documentation of the ASIC, as well as a testing environment. When implementing a concrete redesign order for a mixed-signal ASIC, MAZeT eliminated the weaknesses of the original ASIC: For example, the previous 0.6 µm CMOS technology was replaced by 0.35 µm CMOS technology, which will be available over the long term. The entire pin assignment was retained despite the improved redesign, allowing the existing printed circuit boards (PCB) to be still used.
Prerequisites for ASIC Redesign
Successful ASIC redesign is subject to several conditions. The more of these are met, the lower the design risk, development time, and redesign costs. The top priority is to provide a technical description including a requirements specification, circuit plan, high-level language description, netlist, and data sheet in order to ensure functional compatibility. The testing vectors and environment are essential for delivering the proof of functionality needed for series production. What is also important is the description of the dynamic behavior as the logic elements such as gates, flip-flops, memory etc. of a new semiconductor technology often exhibit different delay times and the analog transistors display a different electrical behavior, i.e., they represent different models. Other prerequisites include the testing program for the circuit tester, precise documentation of the ASIC’s electrical functions, the electrical characterization of the input/output behavior, the supply voltage concept, the ESD and EMC concept, as well as the GDS2 data set.
MAZeT GmbH is a leading European engineering and manufacturing service provider. The company was founded in 1992 and is based in Jena. MAZeT develops, manufactures and distributes customer specific devices, software and ASICs distributes own products of the trademark JENCOLOR®. The broad technology offer and application know-how in this field of industry electronics and opto-sensor technology lets MAZeT GmbH be a competent and reliable service partner for every customized client-specific solution. Their expertise and components for custom applications are used throughout the entire sector of industrial metrology, control and automation as well as medical technology.
MAZeT GmbH | Göschwitzer Straße 32 | 07745 Jena
Phone: +49 3641 2809-39 | Fax: +49 3641 2809-12 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mazet.de
MAZeT GmbH | Göschwitzer Straße 32 | 07745 Jena
Phone: +49 3641 2809-47 | Fax: +49 3641 2809-12 | email@example.com | www.mazet.de
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