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The Real Benefit of using an ASIC in Your Next Project

March 27, 2018, anysilicon

An Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) is an integrated circuit (IC) which is designed and customized for a particular use rather than being used for general-purpose applications. An example for ASIC is a chip that is designed to run a high-efficiency Bitcoin miner, or a chip designed specifically for BMW’s brake unit.

 

An ASIC is a tailor-made chip which is developed specifically for you — based on your specifications.  Just image that you go to a car manufacturer and ask for a custom designed car. Naturally, the car manufacturer will ask you for your dream car specifications. Likewise, in the ASIC world, the functionally, size, power, cost and environmental conditions are all put together into an ASIC specifications document.

 

 

An ASIC is typically not publicly available, e.g. other companies cannot purchase your ASIC because it’s made for you and you own the rights for this ASIC.

 

 

View of a Businessman in front of a wall with a Processor chip and network connection - 3d render

 

An ASIC is a technology and as other technologies — with proper planning – it can give your company a competitive advantage – an edge. We believe the main reason for using an ASIC it to get a competitive advantage. Of course, it will require upfront investment, but it could potentially be a very rewarding investment.

 

 

If you are unsure whether your company can benefit from using an ASIC, perhaps you should consider having an ASIC feasibility study. In the study an ASIC vendor will be able to evaluate the project and provide costing, schedule and risk assessment. With an ASIC feasibility study, you will have enough information to evaluate the pros / cons and to justify the ASIC project.

 

 

Competitive Advantage is the Main Benefit

 

If your company is looking for a significant competitive advantage — an ASIC would be the right path forward. An ASIC could: make your product smaller and cheaper, lower your product power consumption and improve performance.

 

In some cases, there is no way to avoid designing and making an ASIC. If your product is a hand-held, small size, battery operated device, then most chances that you would need to design your own ASIC.

 

 

But in other cases, the threshold between whether making or not-making an ASIC is not very clear.

 

An ASIC could integrate several standard chips into a single chip – this will obviously result in a smaller size PCB and a reduced power consumption. An ASIC will use just a small amount of power due to its small physical size as compared to a collection of standard IC components.

 

In addition to its size and power advantages an ASIC will provide you with IP protection. Since the ASIC is specifically designed for you, it’s hard to see what’s inside the chip. In addition, having fewer parts in your product translates into higher reliability, easy purchasing and operation. This means there will be less production planning and purchasing of products with many parts.

 

Overall, an ASIC will help you differentiate yourself from the competition and will help you to create a higher entry barrier.

 

 

What’s Next?

 

AnySilicon consists of many ASIC design companies with domain expertise. Try to contact them via this page and ask for a price quote or a feasibility study.

 

Do you find it difficult to choose a vendor? Then — drop us an email and we will take it from there.