Five good reasons to use ASICs and custom modules.

Here are a number of reasons why you would want to develop your own ASIC or custom module, analog, RF or mixed signal. (1) You have developed a product using standard off the shelf components. When you did this your suppliers and their salepersons were all over you. Then the salesperson you knew left, or some other event took place. You no longer have the support from your supplier or distributor. Your project is stalled. Or even worse you have your product in the market and your supplier decides to discontinue the product you are using. The product is selling well. At this point you must have your own ASIC or module if you are to be independent of your supplier and their vicissitudes. It may take time and money but if market and product can support it, you must consider your own custom devices. (2) You have developed your product using off the shelf components. It is selling well. If the market is there and your product addresses the market, be assured your product will be copied and released to your market. You then have a number of choices. (A) Sue ’em. (B) Enhance your product. (C) Protect your IP (D) Exit the market. Only (C) is a palatable choice. You can do this by (E) Patents and trademarks (F) Hide your IP using full custom ASICs and modules (G) Enclose your product in a strong coating of some substance that is difficult to penetrate. Of these options we advocate full custom devices, ASICs or modules. You own the IP here, not your suppliers; It is very expensive to reverse engineer an ASIC and with the proper IP protection techniques ( coatings and other processes) it can be very difficult for a copycat to steal the IP. In addition if a portion of the IP is in firmware then this is an additional layer of protection. (3) Your product has been developed to the point of a demo model and it works. The boards and boxes are large and ungainly. You now have to fit it all in a really small area or enclosure. Again this is a really good reason to make your own custom ASIC or module. (4) Your product has been developed to the point of a demo model. It works fine except that it dissipates a lot of power. Perhaps it is a mobile unit and the batteries are running down. Whatever the case, this again is a really good rationale to get your own custom device. Custom devices can be designed to dissipate very little power using good low power techniques. (5) You have developed a product using discrete off the shelf devices. There are a lot of components on the board. This is causing a size increase and a manufacturing headache. Again use of a custom device is strongly recommended. Not only will the size and power come down but the overall product will be more reliable and easy to manufacture. If you want to learn more or develop your custom devices, please contact Signal Processing Group Inc, at for a no obligation discussion or quotation. SPG uses state of the art semiconductor, PCB and assembly techniques to provide highly cost effective devices that belong to you.

We design and deliver analog and RF/wireless ASICs and modules using state of the art semiconductor, PCB and assembly technologies. Please contact us at for a quote and a proposal.

Leave a Reply