glucose monitoring - ASIC Chip

ASIC Chips for Glucose Monitoring

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which your blood glucose level is too high. The condition impairs the body’s ability to process blood sugar. In the United States alone, there are about 30 million people diagnosed and undiagnosed of diabetes. It is a widespread disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Patients with diabetes rely on medication, diet, lifestyle, and blood glucose monitoring for better diabetes management.

The use of needle pricks and glucose strips is the usual approach to monitor blood sugar. Although popularly used among diabetic patients, the approach is painful and requires devotion to continuously monitoring sugar levels.

Researchers are constantly looking for more of a convenient approach such as the use of an ASIC chip for blood sugar monitoring.

 

A Bit About How it Works

Medical and health researchers are developing an ASIC chip controlled blood glucose monitor that is implantable for continuous blood sugar measurement. Senseonics, Inc., of Germantown, Maryland, has developed a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system that will constantly monitor glucose levels of diabetic persons up to 90 days.

The specifications for this ASIC design for control and analysis have to meet the measurement and analysis of reflected light, memory, wireless interface, low voltage requirements, and medical certification. This ASIC controlled blood sugar monitor can be implanted at the upper arm or the wrist of the patient.

 

Technologies

For the wrist application, a special watch is designed to power the sensor every 3 minutes. The sensor then starts to measure the blood glucose level and sends back the data to the wristwatch or smartwatch, displaying the data on the monitor.

A specified bandage with Bluetooth interface is created for the upper arm use. Real-time glucose measurements are then sent to the patient’s mobile phone. The data can also be sent from the smartphone to the patient’s physician for review.

The sensor must be implanted by a professional health care provider. The use of ASIC chip technology for blood sugar monitoring replaces the painful and inconvenient pricking. With the use of this tiny fluorescent sensor implanted in your skin, diabetic patients can now get accurate and painless blood sugar monitoring.

Even when you are doing physical activities or the sensor gets compressed; it remains to deliver precise data. Also, its transmitter is water-resistant, rechargeable, and removable which means you can take it off to recharge while doing activities like taking a shower.

For a maximum of 6 months, the sensor must be replaced afterward. In addition to these features, the sensor sends data every 5 minutes which you can check from your smart device.

 

Future for ASIC Chips

As technology progresses, advancement in medical and healthcare is also expected. Studies on wireless wear glucose levels for diabetic patients have been conducted.

The use of an ASIC chip to monitor blood sugar levels can help diabetic patients manage their illness with ease and confidence. It gives diabetic patients the freedom to carry on with their daily activities without the need to do the usual prick and strips twice or more in a day.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

sensor ASIC - LIDAR

All about Flash and Scan Sensor ASIC Technology

Light and Detection Ranging or LIDAR is a sensor technology for remote object detection. The technology works by using a light source and a receiver that operates like a camera using a high-power laser emitter and a solid-state sensor with many pixels.

Today, the scan sensor ASIC technology is used in drones, autonomous vehicles, robots for smart homes, and many more.

Light Detection and Ranging Sensor technology will be a major facilitator in the automotive industry. This technology will provide better safety for drivers, passengers, and road users in general.

It will be the future of highly automated vehicles that can withstand robust environment and weather conditions.

 

What is a Flash System?

Flash system is a LiDAR system that can observe the complete field of view (FOV) at one. This method was originally used for spacecraft in autonomous landing and docking with satellites.

This works by capturing the scene at once from short to mid-range (0-100m). Flash LiDAR sensors are commonly used in emergency braking and blind-spot detection. The Flash system also detects objects with high relative speed.

 

What is a Scan Sensor?

Scan sensor works by focusing on the subset of the field of view (FOV) and subsequently looking at the next subsets until full FOV is covered. Instead of the full FOV, scanning can focus the light on the subset which means it can detect an object at a longer range.

Currently, there are 2 steering principles used in scan sensor technology to move the light beam from one subset to another. The first method is by completely rotating the sensor head or called the spinning LiDAR. Another approach used is by using the mechanical components inside the sensor ASIC.

Autonomous vehicles rely mainly on flash or scan sensor ASIC to obtain information about their surroundings such as the presence of other vehicles, pedestrians, and other relevant details. State of the art LiDAR systems along with radar-based perception systems and cameras are used to capture data description of the environment for more accurate estimations.

 

Manufacturers

Today, several manufacturing experts provide solid-state LiDAR sensors and solutions. These technologically advanced providers have continuously developed and improved their sensors and solutions for high accuracy and efficiency. Experts are still working on realizing a long-range and low-cost solution.

But despite the development of LiDAR systems and products available in the market today, experts and manufacturers are still faced with several constraints.

  • First, is the cost as current solutions available are quite expensive.
  • Second, meeting safety and reliability standards set by the automotive industry.
  • Third, the flash and scan sensor ASIC’s ability to capture and measure the environment at a long-distance or range.
  • Fourth, the adverse weather conditions like snow, storm, fog, rain, and others.
  • The fifth is the image level resolution, and lastly, is the size.

Even if this technology is now readily accessible, experts and manufacturers are still working on improving their flash and sensor ASIC systems, technology, and solutions to overcome all of these issues.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

system-on-a-chip technology

The Development of System-on-a-Chip over the Years

System-on-a-chip continues to be an integral part of modern-day technology and products. The functionality of mobile devices, computers, automobiles, and others mainly rely on SOCs.

 

A Quick History

Back in the 1970s, SOCs were first developed for miniaturization; when the first LED wristwatch was announced. Back then, it took 44 Integrated Circuits (ICs) to be fused into one single chip.

The technology continued to grow when personal computing and cellular phone technology flourished in the 1990s. Later on, smaller chips were developed for other related functions such as LCD displays, audio, keyboard, and battery charging.

SOC technology has been used by fabless manufacturers. Its ability to integrate functionality into one chip-enabled SOC technology evolved from being the heart computers and smartphones to enabling full function and feature of portable ultrabooks.

Since then, major players in the industry have utilized System-on-a-chip technology to meet the diverse needs of each industry. SOCs are built to perform specific tasks and are power, cost, and performance-optimized. It is known to have the best performance to power ratio.

Recently, manufacturers developed programmable SOCs which integrate processor and FPGA architectures into one device. The processors in programmable SOCs can be “hard” or “soft”.

A programmable SOC with a hard processor is an FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) with connections for a microprocessor for embedded on a chip, surrounded by programmable logic that you can use for custom applications.

 

Processors

A hard processor is optimized for power consumption and uses less space on the chip. Above all, a hard processor offers high CPU performance.

Soft processors in programmable SOCs are carried out through the use of on-chip resources and programmable logic routed onto FPGA. This type of programmable SOC can be reconfigured and offers flexibility when it comes to removing unnecessary functions in the future.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to configurability, predictability, software tools, and speed. The soft processor’s configurability is high compared to the hard processor. For predictability, software tools, and speed, hard processor wins.

Programmable system-on-a-chip offers key advantages. First, FPGA runs at a lower frequency, thus lowers power consumption. Second, FPGA SOCs show better performance compared to best-in-class SOCs. Third, programmable SOCs can is embedded with FPGA fabric that can be programmed to address evolving specifications.

With this, changes can be made without costing too much. Lastly, it can be customized. FPSOCs offer OEM to customize the software and hardware. Whatever the user or the customer requires can be customized in the FPGA without affecting performance.

 

Options

A variety of options are now available for programmable SOCs, the hard processor, and soft processor. Each of these options has unique architecture and tools to optimize the device.

Embedding FPGA fabric on SOCs offers advantages and application performance benefits. Traditional SOCs may be replaced with programmable SOC devices that show better cost, power, and performance ratio.

With these benefits, more and more companies might start to embrace the full disruptive potential of programmable system-on-a-chip. Eventually, standalone SOCs will be replaced by programmable SOCs.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

microsystems

What Are MicroSystems Technology?

Microsystems technology can be found all over the world, from suppliers of car parts, information and communication, and medical technology sectors.

In fact, it is unknowingly taking over more sensitive tasks nowadays. Innovative microsystems technology work as invisible helpers in various areas of everyday lives.

 

How does It work?

Basically, microsystems technology develops whole systems on a micro-scale level which is in constant communication with the environment. Particularly, microsystems must be able to do important things such as feel, evaluate, and act.

 

Technology to Ensure Intelligence

Microsystems are a group of various materials, components, and technologies combined together in a particularly tiny area. Modern microsystems are defined to be more than the sum of their parts.

The integration of the individual components intelligently forms more and more complex systems to enable completely new functions. This leads to intelligent products that would make lives safer, simpler, and more comfortable.

Car microsystems technology is able to assist drivers to avoid obstacles independently. It can also make automatic emergency stops in situations that are critical. One example is the modern air-conditioning system that can register when people leave their homes and adjust accordingly.

 

Microsystems In The Future

In the future, microsystems will not only feel, evaluate, or act because they will also make decisions from foresight and be able to communicate with their surroundings. That said, they will have an auto diagnosis function and will operate autonomously, a characteristic that is similar to cognitive abilities.

This means that while classical microsystems only function to pre-programmed patterns, smart systems will show signs of being able to think, understand, and learn. One of the most important motivators of innovation in technology, making intelligent products possible. Thus, microsystems technology is progress with a system.

 

Research Collaborations in Europe

In order to face future challenges in microelectronics and nanoelectronics, research collaborations across the national borders are necessary. These are key factors to ensure international competitiveness by setting international standards.

These enable participants to become leaders in the relevant market segments. Thus, the semiconductor industry in Europe has been reinforced and expanded by the Federal Research Ministry.

 

Funding Targets

Since microelectronics and nanoelectronics are main enabling technologies for the whole manufacturing industry, research a program has been launched by the Federal Research Ministry to encourage innovations and consolidate the technological leadership of Germany.

This is also intended to ensure the competitiveness of the country and make it a more attractive industrial option. The funding program for electronics research is intended for the following.

  • Expansion of enabling technologies for chip manufacturing, including chip design, 3D integration and process technologies, lithography and research novel materials
  • Facilitate the development of innovative mobility solutions by fortifying research on electronic components and systems for cars of the future
  • The use of cutting-edge electronic components to develop new applications
  • Promote new approaches to electronic systems, such as in the form of magnetic microsystems or organic electronics

The funding has been focused on the following fields of application, namely automotive engineering, energy, logistics, medicine, mechanical, and plant engineering.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

3D Imaging - Time of Flight

3D Machine Vision and Time of Flight

One of the image sensors intended for 3D vision called Time of Flight (ToF) has already been increasingly available in recent years.

Its job is to illuminate the scene using a modulated light source and observe the reflected light. The phase shift between reflection and illumination can be measured and translated into the distance.

 

3D Imaging ASIC

3D imaging application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is designed for 3D vision applications, as well as other consumer devices, such as laptops, personal computers, smartphones, and tablets.

This means that a chip is created for a specific purpose or application. Through the years, various types of Time of Flight ASICs have been made to meet the demands of a wide array of industries, from photography to telecommunications.

 

Technology Inspired By the Human Eye

The 3D imaging ASIC technology is said to have been inspired by how the human eyes see the world from different angles. However, the eyes perceive these images into a single image through the brain which combines these images into a whole.

This process is called parallax, which is close to 2D imaging concepts. But in 3D imaging, 2 lenses are used in each shot with each one capturing an image different from the other. So the 3D images will contain double the amount of information provided by 2D images.

 

Used In Different Applications

A 3D imaging device with a 3D imaging ASIC can be used for an array of applications. Such will include the measurement, analysis, and positioning of the parts for various industrial purposes.

Every 3D imaging ASIC has been designed to fit a specific environment or industry in which the 3D imaging systems will use either passive or active methods.

That said, active systems use methods such as structured light or Time of Flight, while passive systems use light field and depth from focus methods.

 

3D Shape Data Via Active Snapshot And Laser Triangulation

Snapshot and laser triangulation are used to make 3D shape data. The active snapshot process measures the distance to objects by calculating the difference between 2 snapshots taken at once called passive stereo imaging. A single-camera can be used to capture these images, but a couple of cameras can make the process even more efficient.

However, laser triangulation uses a single camera to make height variations from laser patterns projected onto the surface of an object. It will then observe how patterns moved when viewed from an angle with the use of a camera.

 

Challenges in 3D Imaging

The creation of 3D images is known as an intensive and time-consuming process. So it is necessary to use devices such as 3D imaging ASICs in the product lines.

This is intended because the 3D imaging ASIC is able to handle the complexity of calculations needed in the product lines since it will make the imaging process faster and more efficient.

Either 2D or 3D imaging ASIC is proven beneficial to a huge array of industrial applications. So it is all about how technology has been used for a specific purpose.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

embedded computing systems

What is Embedded Computing?

Embedded computing is part of our day-to-day lives through consumer electronics, mobile and industrial devices, automobiles, and many more. Embedded computing is essential to the appropriate functioning of products and applications: communication, medical, aerospace, and more.

These systems are programmed to perform specific tasks. Computing systems can be made up of hardware and software with some which are programmable while others are not. They rely on microprocessors, digital signal processors, and other purposely designed processors to work. In fact, 98% of the microprocessors manufactured today are used in embedded systems.

The most common examples of embedded computing systems are smartwatches and traffic lights. Recently, these computing systems started using system-on-chip as SOCs offer more advanced functionality and computing power compared to microprocessors.

 

Characteristics of embedded systems

Embedded computing performs a single task in a large system. It is a programmable system for a specific purpose. Below are the elements of these systems:

  • Made up of hardware, software, and firmware
  • Embedded on a larger system to perform a definite function
  • The embedded computing system can be microprocessor-based or microcontroller-based
  • Embedded systems are often used in real-time computing in the Internet of things devices
  • Vary in complexity and function
  • Oftentimes required to perform their function under a specific time frame for the larger system to function properly

 

The elements of embedded computing

  • Hardware – the hardware components of embedded systems include microprocessors and microcontrollers. These two are very similar to each other which act as CPU which is then integrated to the memory chip and digitals signal processors.
  • Software – industrial-grade microcontrollers run through a software system that requires little memory to run or control machines or devices.
  • Firmware – embedded firmware is usually used in more complex systems to connect the software to the hardware. Embedded firmware applies to more complex applications and operating systems.

Embedded systems must be reliable and efficient. These are crucial characteristics as these systems cannot be programmed and accessed by users. They are time-sensitive, so the system-on-chip must work efficiently within the given time frame.

 

Different systems categories

There are multiple embedded computing categories depending on their function and use. One type of design is the standalone system. This only requires input and output lines to work. Music players are examples of a standalone system.

Then, there are real-time embedded computing systems and network embedded systems. A common example of a network embedded design is your home security system.

The last and the most popular systems are mobile embedded systems that are used in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

These systems are expected to rapidly grow in the coming years due to the increasing demands of applications in smart transportation, communication, drones, smart cars, smart homes, smartphones, medical equipment, video surveillance, and many more.

With embedded computing systems and integration of system-on-chip, different fields and industries can come up with new and innovative features and capabilities beyond manual work can provide.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

automotive sensor asic

Sensor ASICs in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry has been a major consumer of electronics technology since the late 1960s. And as technology progresses, the demand for hybrid automobiles and electric cars is also growing.

To address these demands, the automotive industry must work hand-in-hand with electronics technology.

Over the years, car manufacturers have relied on electronics for entertainment. But with the advent of technology, car manufacturers are gearing towards building electric cars and the use of electronic systems for better efficiency and safety.

Electronic contents of vehicles and automobiles may increase in the coming years.

Automobiles in the coming years are expected to be more sophisticated. Eventually, every function of the automobile will be through sensor ASICs. Smart cars and driverless cars will rely on sensor ASIC for position control, timing control, speed control, and others.

Battery monitoring, pressure sensor, gas sensor, engine monitoring, and more require specialized sensor ASIC.

Automobile companies across the world are investing in electronics and specific applications in the vehicle system. Leading automobile manufacturers are gearing towards producing cars that are smarter and safer with the help of automobile ASIC applications.

Today, hybrid cars are now able to park themselves, brake when they sense danger, stay in a lane, free themselves from a tight parking area, and provide a 360-degree view of its surrounding.

With these developments, sensor ASIC is expected to be in demand in the automotive industry. And with the combination of these smart sensors, GPS, and radar, it is not possible that drivers in the future will just have to hit the start button, steer it, and switch if off once in their destinations.

 

Sensor ASIC for automobiles should have these three (3) major components:

  • Safety – it is one of the utmost important aspects of the development of advanced driver assistance systems. ASICs must adhere to ISO 26262 requirements, safety verification, safety goals, and safety SOC architecture.
  • Reliability – pertains to the lifecycle of the SOC, wear outs, mortality, life span, and aging.
  • Quality – relates to the condition of the foundry process, defect density, and thermal fatigue.

 

Samples of automotive ASIC applications:

  • Electronic Odometer with LCD Driver – a custom ASIC for automotive and electric automobile applications. Some of the features include a record of miles or hours which is stored in nonvolatile memory (EEPROM). The data is retained even if the power is lost. It also has 7 digit LCD driver and ratiometric sensors.
  • Engine Monitor and Warning light controller – the device is designed to monitor engine perimeters like pressure, voltage, and temperature. The monitor also activates the warning light is the parameters are out of range. The sensor ASIC is intended for the automotive instrument cluster.
  • Digital Pulse Width Modulator

 

Some of the types of sensors used in an automobile:

  • Oxygen sensor
  • Coolant sensor
  • Voltage sensor
  • Fuel temperature sensor
  • Mass airflow sensor
  • Engine speed sensor
  • Spark knock sensor
  • MAF or Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor

 

With all these automobile sensors, driving in the future is safer and convenient. In the coming years, it will simply involve turning the engine on/off and steering it to your destination.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

electronics - asics and soc

Standard Integrated Circuits and ASIC chips

The introduction of electronics technology greatly impacted our lives from consumer electronics, portable computers, and mobile devices. It is now part of our everyday personal and business lives due to its convenience and functionality.

Every day we see or use products that utilize electronics technology. And without these, life will never be the same. More so, transportation, wireless communication, medical equipment, mobile phones, and so much more will not exist if not because of IC (Integrated Circuit) or ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit).

 

What’s the difference between the standard Integrated Circuit and ASIC chips?

Integrated Circuit is designed for general use or purpose. It is a small chip that can function as an amplifier, microprocessor, timer, or computer memory.  An Integrated Circuit is made of silicon that can store data using analog or digital technology. Standard Integrated Circuit is ideal for small series.

On the other hand, ASIC or Application Specific Integrated Circuit is a chip customized for a specific use. A modern ASIC chip contains microprocessors, RAM, ROM, memory blocks, and flash memory.

ASIC is ideally designed for a product that is intended for mass production. ASIC design can also be tailored to meet the specific requirements for a product. ASICs are immensely useful in the production of consumer electronics and products that are widely used.

 

Price structure of standard Integrated Circuit (IC) and Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

The development cost for an ASIC chip is expensive compared to standard IC. Regular or standard Integrated Circuit price is significantly lower as many users break the Non-Recurring Engineering or NRE (which is the development cost).

 

The cost structure of standard Integrated Circuit

Phase                                               Content

Die                                                     die size

Packaging                                        type of package

Testing                                              test time

Handling                                          Quality Assurance/Control, logistics, shipment

 

Comparison between standard Integrated Circuit (IC) vs. Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

  • Time to marketICs are ideal for fast prototyping
  • NRE or Non-Recurring Expensesintroduction cost for standard Integrated Circuit applications is low
  • Unit CostASIC cost is low due to no redundant function
  • Power Consumptionthe optimal power consumption clearly goes to ASIC as it has a dedicated technology and no redundant function
  • Form factorASIC is the winner for this component due to its power consumption and small form factor
  • Productionproduction of standard IC is faster compared to an ASIC chip, however, when the standard component becomes obsolete, it requires a to redesign your product

 

What are the benefits of Application Specific Integrated Circuit?

  • Lower power consumption
  • Higher integration
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Higher functionality
  • Smaller footprint

 

Choosing between Standard Integrated Circuit (IC) over the Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

Choosing between the two really depends on your needs. Before you can decide which is essential to your business or product, you need to evaluate the following factors:

  • Unit cost
  • Time to market
  • Power consumption
  • Solution cost
  • Scalability
  • Protection
  • Non-recurring expenses
  • Form factor
  • Control of supply chain

Finding the right solution depends on your specific project requirements. Choosing the right solution can be taken effectively by determining functionality, production time scale, and cost.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

system-on-a-chip faqs

FAQs on System-on-a-chip

What is System-on-a-chip?

SOC is an Integrated Circuit that may contain digital, analog, or mixed-signal functions used in computer or electronic systems. It essentially combines all electronic circuits needed into one single integrated chip.

A SOC usually is composed of utility software applications, operating systems, microprocessors or digital signal processors, RAM or ROM, power-on reset generators, and counter timers. These days, SOCs are found inside mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

 

Why use SOC?

The use of SOC is mainly to reduce the use of space occupied by large systems. With SOC, size is downsized, spending cost is lowered, and energy waste reduced too.

 

What are the Uses of a System-on-a chip?

SOC has become an integral part of today’s modern era specifically in the world of electronics and technology. Today, SOCs are mainly used in portable equipment such as cameras, smartphones, tablets, wireless technologies, personal computers, laptops, netbooks, and many more.

 

What are the Components of System-on-a-chip?

The components of a system-on-a-chip depend on its use or purpose. Since SOCs are commonly used in portable devices such as tablet and phones, these are the regular components used of such portable devices:

  • CPU – the heart of what’s inside the SOC. CPU or Central Processing Unit is responsible for most responses and decisions by receiving input from other SOC components. Most CPUs have more multiple cores inside, about 2-8 cores to be able to perform parallel processing.
  • GPU – or Graphical Processing Unit or also known as video chip is responsible for 3D games in your portable or mobile device.
  • Image Processing Unit – responsible for converting phone camera data into image and video files.
  • Digital Signal Processor – handles more complex and intensive functions than the CPU like decompressing music files.
  • Neutral Processing Unit – this component is used in high-end smartphones which functions include voice recognition and camera processing.
  • RAM – Random Access Memory is used to store data. Basically, RAM is the computer’s short term memory that serves as the computer’s working space. A SOC must have RAM to be able to use apps and use software data.
  • ROM – Read Only Memory is a computer memory that can store permanent and semi-permanent data. ROM is essential to boot firmware.
  • Video Encoder/Decoder – handles the conversion of video files.
  • Modem – responsible for cellular or network connectivity. Smartphones will not work without a modem that works by connecting to radio networks.

 

What are the Benefits of SOC?

  • Space-saving
  • Cost and time effective
  • Powerful

 

Which are the Leading System-on-a chip Manufacturers?

There are multiple numbers of SOC manufacturers today to address the growing needs to power portable devices. Samsung, Huawei, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and NVIDIA are the largest manufacturers of SOCs worldwide.

Aside from making high-end phones, Samsung and Huawei also produce their own SOCs. On the other hand, Broadcom mainly manufactures SOCs for wireless and networking devices.

There is no doubt that system-on-a-chip is an important part of today’s wireless technology and will remain to be of greater importance in the coming years. It may be small but has changed the way we communicate through wireless technology.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.

analog ic design

General Design Steps for Analog IC Design

Integrated Circuit is the little black chip embedded in an electronic device. This flat black chip or commonly known as a silicon chip, or analog IC, is made of electronic components such as transistors, resistors, capacitors, and others to work together to perform a specific function.

Integrated Circuits (ICs) are vital components in telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, Internet, multi-media, and other applications in today’s modern world. Integrated Circuit designs are divided into 2 categories: analog and digital.

Digital Integrated Circuit (IC) is specifically designed to produce components like RAM and microprocessors; it is mainly for logical functions. On the other hand, Analog IC focuses on the physics of semiconductor devices.

The analog design is mainly to continuously manipulate varying electrical signals through the use of amplifiers and filters.

 

Analog IC Design

Analog ASIC design starts with product specification, circuit design and architecture, logic design, physical design, physical verification

  • Specification – Analog IC specification phase involves market surveys; determining potential customers, and predict future needs. Gauging future demands will also influence how you would like to do with your ASIC, and working on the requirements for the product to appeal better to customers.
  • Design and Architecture – this stage involves discussion on the pros and cons of the design including performance and functional implications, time, and cost allocation. The design and architecture phase involves technical and functional details.
  • Logic design – the logical and verification phase involves the coding of the data flow of the individual functional block using Verilog, system Verilog, or VHDL. The logic design includes combination logic, sequential Elements, finite State Machines (FSMs), arithmetic Logic Blocks, data-path Design, and Analog Design.
  • Physical design – this stage focuses on the backend design cycle. The phase is sub-divided into synthesis, floor planning, placement, clock tree synthesis, detail routing, physical verification.
  • Synthesis translates the RTL code into standard cell gates.
  • Floorplanning is when engineers follow the analog ASIC design by dividing the area into partitions. Functional blocks, pins, and ports are also integrated into the floor planning phase. The process also determines the size of the chip, wire length, and functionality. Good floor planning is essential to eliminate or at least minimize issues in the signal, routing, and total chip area.
  • Placement involves the optimal placement of all standard cells in the chip.
  • The clock three synthesis processes are meeting the time, power, and area requirements. This step is used to ensure that optimal clock latency is achieved while lowering power consumption.
  • Detail routing is the stage involves multiple types of researches to ensure detours are minimized that can cause implications on timing. This process also ensures that Design Rule Check violations are at a minimum.
  • Physical verification is all about making sure that the layout is parallel to the way it is designed to. This is also to avoid any errors before the tape out.

Analog ASIC design is complicated; and will continue to progress along with technology. Analog IC design is an integral part of today’s modern life. Life has never been the same since the invention of Integrated Circuits.

 


Linear MicroSystems, Inc. is proud to offer its services worldwide as well as the surrounding areas and cities around our Headquarters in Irvine, CA: Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Orange County, Fullerton, and Los Angeles.