12th March 2007

Are ASICs dead?

There were some very interesting insights from the commentary on the panel discussion on the above topic.

People have been long talking about the demise of ASICs….and these are still around. A good starting point taken, hence, was the definition of ASICs itself. ASICs have undergone a transformation over the years and have evolved much from the traditional cell based ASICs.

Some interesting comments raised included:

- why have ASICs survived? Inspite of ridiculous prices, extremely unreliable and extremely unpredictable. Because they are needed. People talk about a decline in design starts…I think what we should be talking about is how many total transistors, total functionality and how much total revenue is being shipped. All of those numbers are increasing (Sherwani/OpenSilicon)
- Architecture is the key. More integration is not necessarily the right solution (Massabki/ChipX)
- How outsourcing and offshoring of basic R&D is affecting ASIC biz (Sherwani)

When we talk about ASICs declining, what are we referring to? Is it the number of design starts? And if so, which designs does this number include: cell based ASICs, embedded array, structured ASICs? Is it the total revenue?

Without a clear definition and specific measuring criteria, blanket statements do not make much sense.

posted in ASICs | 1 Comment

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