Step 1 – Write a Product Specification Document
The product specification is the fundamental document describing the required functional and non-functional requirements that ultimately your product shall fulfill. It serves as the basis of all future decisions and actions. Appropriate levels of detail are necessary to avoid problems and pitfalls in later stages of the life cycle. Careful formulation and structure of requirements are profound.
Step 2 – Evaluate your design options
Assuming the product specification is available and has sufficient quality, the next step is to select the major components which will be used in your product. You are still early in the design process, but this step will greatly impact every aspect. A careful evaluation of off-the-shelf components and custom implementation either with an FPGA or an ASIC is a tedious task requiring both business and technical background. It requires significant domain expertise in the chip market. The evaluation shall include many criteria which shall be compared and analyzed carefully. Custom Chip Solution’s (CCS) Design Audit Service offers an easy and straightforward way to have a comprehensive analysis with recommended design options.
Step 3 – Secure your supply chain
Once the design decision is made, you need to secure your supply chain. Supplier selection will impact the price of the parts and the deliveries. These two factors will have a direct impact on the production and ultimately on the profitability of the product. Early in the life cycle, this seems easy. Your search for the required parts in the database of well-known distributors and you sign a contract. But is this enough? Just think about the impact of the global chip shortage on big players and how they are forced to limit their production and deliveries. CCS’s Purchase Consulting Service offers the expertise of professional buyers with a network of specialized suppliers to mitigate your supply chain risk and achieve the best offers available.
Step 4 – Use an FPGA and go for a custom logic implementation
FPGAs offer flexibility with a limited NRE investment. They are a great choice to mix standard features with unique needs even for low-volume products. The latest product portfolio of major FPGA vendors can cover the needs of both price-sensitive and high-end applications as well. Traditionally, they were considered as an extension to microprocessors (MPU) and microcontrollers (MCU). Nowadays, they can act as a core of a product while implementing both the MPU/MCU sub-system used for control purposes and the required logic and peripherals. The technology and the ecosystem is mature enough to consider as a mainstream design option. CCS’s Custom Logic Implementation Service is a great way to leverage the benefits of this technology and rely on a professional, stable implementation.
Step 5 – Use an ASIC to give your product a true cutting edge advantage
ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. It is a dedicated chip built for your product. It provides improved security, tailored functionality, reduced power consumption, and size. On top of these benefits, it is a great way to further mitigate the risks imposed by the supply chain on your product. The cost of introducing an ASIC significantly decreased in recent years compared to earlier investments by using mature technologies still sufficient for most consumer and industrial applications. IP to build custom chips is also available with limited or even zero license and tape-out costs. Overall, ASICs are not the privilege of big tech companies anymore but it is a design technique that should be considered as a prominent design option on every level. CCS’s ASIC Design Service provides a turn-key solution to introduce an ASIC for your product and differentiate it on chip level.
About Custom Chip Solutions
Our mission at Custom Chip Solutions is to bridge the gap between electronic products and the chip market. We help our customers to focus on their core know-how and products. We are doing this by choosing the best set of chips for their latest ideas. We research, evaluate, buy and build so our customers can implement cutting-edge products and features with minimized design and production costs.
Custom Chip Solutions Ltd. – Use chips tailored to your design