It is indeed that business processes are getting more complex day by day, due to emerging markets with its regulatory clauses and new entrants. To keep up with the pace of globalization and exceed customer expectation, business houses need to transform their manufacturing environment and end products accordingly. None better method than adopting an innovative IC design, which would make the process optimal, both in terms of output and resource consumption. Today the need of the hour is a well designed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), which are used for special applications, bounded by certain protocols, and used for personalized digital assistance. Then there are SoC microchips, which are used for application based on a single platform. These special chips are needed to transform business processes according to market needs.
An insight into IC and why it is important for your business?
An IC or Integrated Circuit is a chip, which has many components like transistors and capacitor, embedded into one single semiconductor platform. These are cost effective and much faster than discrete electronic components. Probably the most important aspects of IC are its mass production viability, which has revolutionized electronics in today’s world. IC design can be of mainly two types, one digital and the other analog. Digital IC design is mainly for microprocessors and ASIC. Digital IC design concentrate on digital logic and optimize circuit layout. They are also responsible for routing of clock and timing signals efficiently. Analog IC designs are used in oscillators, op-amps, phase locked loops, etc. They are more concerned with the intrinsic working principles of the semiconductor device, such as power dissipation and resistance. However, both digital and analog ICs continue to impact today’s business world, demanding a specialized approach while designing.
Organizations must choose a technology partner, who has considerable experience in both digital and analog IC design services. The technology partner should be able to provide in-depth guidance, after going through organizational system requirement study. One normal computer desktop today has over 1 billion transistors, which clearly points out the enormous skill level required during chip designing. The need of the hour is complex chip designing in a timely and reliable fashion, with an eye for even the minute business process requirements. It is essential for existing system assessment and taking stock of required hardware and other IT resources to be used in due course of time. Business houses must choose a technology partner who would carry out architecture analysis and design according to the end product requirement.
Essential services required to get the most out of IC
Benefits of using RTL
The need of the hour is chips which are low on power consumption without compromising on its efficiency. This is why RTL (register transfer level) development is crucial because it helps the designer gauge optimization and tradeoff at a very early stage. Any course correction can be swiftly undertaken with proper usage of RTL. Another important feature of RTL is the presence of functional blocks which lowers down the complex design architecture and makes the chip manageable.
Having a good verification procedure helps a lot
It is important to have a design verification procedure, which would ensure logical verification of an IP. Therefore, it is important to have a sound verification methodology, which is metric driven. It is also important to have low power verification of chip and an executable verification plan. Verification of cache, USB, and PCIe should be carried out in the most structured and professional manner. For highly customized application FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) are used, which can be additionally programmed at customers’ end. Therefore, they are a class apart from programmable read only memory chips.
Test plan development
The main aim for your technology partner should be to have a test plan which possesses high fault coverage of the system. It can only be achieved by the careful usage of techniques such as scan chains and built in shelf test. These steps are applied at various manufacturing stages of hardware and its allied maintenance equipments. These tests are governed by test programs, which take the help of ATE (Automatic test equipment), to successfully scan the device, unit or equipment under test, using automation. The main aim of this procedure is not just testing for faults, but the applying relevant diagnosis of the same. This DFT( design for test), ensures that the product reaching the market has very low fault rates, which in turn will save a lot of revenue for aftermarket services.
Key services required during IC design
Virtual prototyping – This is a method of product development where CAD (computer aided design), along with computer automated design are used to validate the design of the product before going for mass production. It is important to have a performance analysis of the product, while at prototyping stage, this helps in decreeing time to market.
IP development- It is essential to choose correctly from hundreds of IP and VIP available today, which would meet the system requirement. This along with a good algorithm development and reference modeling are potent tools, for IC designing process.