Mixed-Signal ASIC’s can deliver significant system and financial benefits even for low volume applications. Higher performance, smaller board space, lower BoM cost, improved reliability due to custom lifetime design and reduction in components, IP security, and other system benefits such as reduced wiring/harness size or simplification of maintenance or calibration can deliver significant competitive advantages.
The key to unlocking these benefits at low volumes is to enable RoI (Return on Investment) by incurring low NRE development costs. The main NRE costs are development engineering salaries. By leveraging production IP and a proven design process, the expertise and experience of the Silansys team, and our partners processes the NRE costs and Time-To-Market are reduced significantly. Foundry processes in 0.35um and 0.18um can deliver significant mixed-signal functionality and performance, with high voltage and high temperature options also available at very low cost.
As an example, consider a low-volume OEM with 20k units per annum, product lifetime of 10+ years and a silicon BoM of €30, costing €600k annually. A custom ASIC in 0.35 or 0.18um could deliver a €20 reduction in BoM, along with multiple other system benefits and competitive advantages, saving €400k per year in silicon BoM costs. The total ASIC development NRE cost is €1,500k to production qualification.
NRE Cost €1,500k to production
Saving per annum €20 x 20,000 units = €400,000
Time to break-even : <4 yrs
Net saving over 10 years : €2,500k (after deducting NRE)
Gross Margin significantly increased
In summary the customer has a highly optimised and more competitive product and a net saving of €2,500k over the product lifetime for an investment of just €1,500k. The customer has significantly increased their gross margin and strengthened their financial position. Further IC developments can leverage the initial investment to develop a highly competitive product roadmap and gain market share.
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