Custom ASIC Development and Supply

The ever-increasing demand for product innovation is driving Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and automotive Tier 1s to look for new ways to add differentiating features to their products while also driving down overall system costs, power and form factor.

In the past, this would typically mean designing a board that used discrete, off-the-shelf components since the benefits of custom ASIC development, which can reduce the BOM cost by as much as 80%, was reserved for large companies who had the volume production required to justify the up-front NRE costs.

ASIC Benefits

Today, having your own ASIC is not just reserved for the likes of Apple. The barriers to entry are greatly reduced meaning companies with moderate volumes can realise the technical and economic benefits of developing custom ASIC based solutions.

  • Reduced BOM
  • Increased performance
  • Lower power consumption
  • Added functionality
  • Enhanced security
  • Smaller size and weight
  • Improved IP protection
  • Improved yields
  • Reduced test and assembly costs
  • Improved Reliability

A custom ASIC can offer significant cost, feature and development benefits compared to traditional circuit board designs, but is it the right solution for your product?  There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating the benefits of moving to an ASIC design, including:

  • Would your product benefit from smaller size or lower power consumption?
  • Are you looking to add more features?
  • Are you spending $2M or more per product line p.a. on components?
  • Can your product be copied easily?
  • Do you need improved data security?

If you answered yes to any of these then an ASIC design could be a good fit for your next project. To explore this option in more detail, request an ASIC Design Consultation.

Request an ASIC Design Consultation

There are some significant advantages to the ASIC model but if you’re not sure it’s the right choice for your next project, then get in touch.  One of our ASIC consultants will be happy to review your requirements and provide a technical and commercial assessment, including a budgetary estimate of the economic benefits taking into account the NRE and licensing costs vs the potential BOM savings.

Custom ASIC Development and Supply

Getting started on the path to developing a custom ASIC may seem like a daunting prospect, but you are not alone.  The EnSilica team live and breathe ASIC development every day and our expertise, high-quality design methodologies and access to the latest EDA productivity tools help to ensure that our proven ASIC Development Flow delivers each ASIC project to the agreed specification, on-time and to budget.

EnSilica manages the complete Supply Chain of your Custom ASIC that starts at the initial design specification stage and continues through prototype evaluation to final mass production and yield management.  Our independence, years of experience and strategic relationships with the leading silicon foundries, packaging, test and qualification vendors ensure that we can deliver the optimum supply chain solution.

  • Wafer sourcing and probe testing
  • Packaging and assembly
  • Final test
  • Logistics and shipping
  • Qualification to consumer, industrial and automotive standards
  • Field returns and fault analysis

Recent ASICs and Case Studies

EnSilica has long history of helping its customers deliver successful ASIC designs.  Explore some of our recent projects in the Customer Case Studies section.

  • 55nm low-power mobile phone sensor interface
  • 65nm medical vital signs sensor with 2.4GHz radio
  • 180nm BCD industrial MCU for safety critical applications
  • 180nm BCD multi-channel 2GHz phase controller
  • 600nm gyro sensor amplifier
  • 180nm BCD H-bridge controller
  • 28nm audio processor for smart microphone
  • 28nm multi-standard GNSS receiver
  • 40nm multi-standard analog and digital broadcast receiver
  • 40nm 60GHz Radar sensor
  • 40nm NFC energy harvesting processor
Automotive H-bridge controller design to meet ISO26262 ASIL-D functional safety requirements
A medical ASIC for capturing vital signs measurements and transmitting using Bluetooth Low-Energy with nW standby power.
ASIC, embedded software and PCB design for a safety critical industrial controller with a high current switch targeted at EC61508 SIL 3.
SoC development and verification of a GNSS baseband processor with power-management, including the design of all the analog IP.
Ultra low-power device for harvesting energy from an RFID field and combined with an advanced sensor in a custom package.
A multi-core audio DSP development for a consumer application including a feasibility phase, then RTL-to-GDSII implementation to tape-out.
Development of a CMOS amplifier to replace a FET based device keeping the same low-noise performance and precise phase response.
Mobile phone sensor with edge processing, encryption, ultra-low power standby power and custom analog blocks.
An audio DSP that for cost and form factor reasons required a very compact die and advanced power management capabilities.

Markets

EnSilica has over 18 years’ experience helping its customers deliver innovative design and across a number of key segments:

Automotive

  • H Bridge Solenoid and Motor Controlers
  • Advanced Radar processing
  • Video & imagine processing
  • V2X security and communication
  • Gas, gyro, position, pressure, force sensor interfacing
  • Driver monitoring / wellbeing
  • Battery cell monitoring
  • ISO 26262

Communications and Radar

  • Signal processing for Radar and Communications systems
  • High resolition MIMO Radar processing
  • High speed interfaces CSI-2, Ethernet, CPRI, PCIe and JESD204B
  • mmWave RF IC development
  • Satellite and cellular systems
  • Digital beamforming and phases arrays
  • Base stations and Remote Radio Heads

Industrial and Healthcare

  • Pressure and flow sensors
  • Gas sensors
  • Chemical sensors
  • Movement and occupancy sensors
  • Motor and Solenoid controllers
  • Vital signs monitoring ( ECG, respiration, pulse and temperature)
  • Motion and gait monitoring and analysis
  • Hearing aids
  • Neurological sensors and simulators
  • Lab-on chip interfaces
  • RFID and tags

IoT and Consumer

  • Designing & integrating; Bluetooth Classic, BLE, NFC/RFID, WiFi (802.11), LorRa and NB-IoT
  • Firmware integrity and secure boot
  • Secure, mutual authentication for device identification
  • Secure Communication with end-to-end encryption
  • Security life-cycle management
  • Tamper and side-channel attack protection

Core Skills and Capabilities

The EnSilica team’s world-class digital, analog and mixed signal design capabilities ensure that your next ASIC project will deliver the competitive advantage you are looking while reducing product development costs, timescales and risk.

  • Low Power

    • Low-power SoC architectures
    • Low-power oscillators and PLLs
    • Power management –SMPS, LDO
    • Voltage & frequency scaling
    • Always-on block design
  • Cryptography and Security

    • Hardware encryption engines AES, ECC, ECDSA, TRNG, ChaCha, Poly1305, TDES
    • Random number, device id, key storage
    • Protected access of resources
    • Secure boot & firmware authentication
    • Side channel attack
    • Attack and tamper protection
  • Wireless and Radar

    • Low power GHz and sub-GHz and mmWave
    • BT Classic, BLE, Wi-Fi, 802.15, NFC
    • Custom radio designs
    • Systems modelling and BB design
    • Radar signal processing
  • Sensing and Control

    • Multiple sensor integration
    • Processor integration
    • Low-power signal processing
    • High voltage BCD designs
    • SAR and sigma-delta convertors
    • MEMs and electro chemical Sensor interfacing
    • Safety critical design
    • Vital signs monitoring

Functional Safety

EnSilica’s high-quality processes for design and production are built around our ISO2001:2015 quality management systems.  We offer an IEC61508 compliant flow for the development of ASICs and embedded software for industrial applications and we are experienced at working within our customer’s ISO 13485 certified environments to develop ASICs for medical devices. Our engineers are experienced in safety analysis, FMEDA, FTA, and on-chip safety mechanisms and our quality systems and design flow provide traceability through the full product life cycle.

Technical Article:

Developing Safety Critical SoCs

In this article we outline an approach to functional safety that addresses the twin challenges of safety and growing SoC complexity, and which ensures SoCs comply with a wide variety of safety standards such as IEC 61508, ISO 26262, DO-178, DO-254 and ISO 62304 by having safety designed in from the start.

Selecting the Right Silicon IP

Selecting the right silicon IP is critical to the success of any ASIC project, EnSilica has a portfolio of in-house IP as well as established relationships with the industries key IP providers.

  • Processor and DSPs including Arm, eSi-RISC, RISC-V, Tensilica and CEVA
  • Cryptography and security including AES, ECDSA, SHA with and without DPA protection
  • Connectivity including PHY and controllers for Ethernet, PCIe, USB , MIPI
  • RF / Radio – BLE, Bluetooth Classic, Wi-Fi, GNSS, NFC

Find out more

If you are looking for an ASIC development and supply partner with the right expertise and experience to bring your next product to market quickly and efficiently then please get in touch for an initial discussion or to request ASIC Design Consultation

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