Online tool enables ASIC design flexibility
The Sensor + Test exhibition in Nuremberg provided the launch pad for Swindon Silicon Systems’ online IC Builder which is a new way for design engineers to visualise what their ASIC/MEMS solution may look like for their application and to informally discuss with Swindon the results and the process required to implement the IC solution.
“A growing number of companies across many sectors are realising the many advantages ASICs can offer and IC Builder is the ideal way to begin the process of implementing an ASIC solution for their application,” says Richard Mount, Sales and Marketing Director at Swindon Silicon Systems.
“There are several reasons for taking the ASIC route and high on the list is the ability to integrate high levels of functionality into a tiny package,” Mount adds. “Functions and capability will normally include such things as processing, memory, digital and analog conversion, sensing, filtering, amplifying, communication, protection, and power management,” says Mount.
Click by click, IC Builder allows the user to progressively add the functions required for their intelligent sensing application and the capability to see what the resulting package could look like.
Designers can add processors including ARM Cortex and Intel 8051, a choice of memory type – Flash, EEPROM, ADCs, DACs, low and band-pass filtering, sensors – including MEMS pressure, photodiode and temperature, frequency generators, RF and a choice of communication protocols.
Power management by DC/DC converters or voltage regulators is selectable as is the type of protection required – such as EMC and surge and reverse polarity.
Finally, users can choose the operating voltage level for the device.
Once all the functions needed have been added, a single click will let the user see the package and its dimensions needed for their specific application.
“We are really looking forward to seeing who will use IC Builder,” says Mount. “Our experience tells us that design engineers who are new to ASICs find it difficult to know the best way to begin the process without giving away too much information about their application. IC Builder lets them see what is possible with just a series of mouse clicks and an email address. We are also confident that existing ASIC users will experiment with IC Builder to see if their current solution, be it either ASIC or discrete components, really is the best available to them or to look at new requirements.”