Mixed-signal system integration
The goal of Chain-IC is to enable system integration for nearly every electronic device, to improve performance and add new features, even if a product runs in low volume. To justify the business case for system integration, one-time investment for development as well as the recurring component price are of importance. The trade-offs can differ significantly for low volume compared to high volume. We strive to achieve low-entry system integration in the following ways:
By making a well founded decision on the partitioning of the system functions over the analog and the digital domain, the total cost versus system performance can be optimized. The rapidly increasing performance of digital chips such as FPGA, DSP and uP can support and often relax the requirements on analog circuitry.
Nowadays, a variety of IC technologies is available for a reasonable price, especially for analog circuitry where the use of the most modern technologies is not even preferred. Whenever possible, we will make use of a main-stream and mature silicon technology that best fits the required system specifications.
Of-the-shelf available IP
Buying available IP’s is sometimes cheaper and comes with less risks than developing an IP from scratch. After several decades of IC design, a wide variety of IP’s in the main-stream technologies is available.
Qualification & production test
Dependent on the volume a trade-off can be made between NRE cost, qualification and test coverage. For low volume and also depending on the application, extensive qualification and testing is not necessarily the optimal way to go. All activities here should carefully be questioned to find the optimal ratio between yield, test coverage and upfront investments.