Looking for broader market visibility, fast-turnaround ASIC supplier Clear Logic Inc. has signed Marshall Industries as its second major North American distributor.
The deal will give startup Clear Logic the leverage of a top-tier distribution sales and support network that is well versed in programmable logic, said Don Knowlton, vice president of marketing at the San Jose-based company.
"The addition of Marshall Industries brings a new dimension to the sales and marketing of our products," Knowlton said. "We envision that Marshall Industries will substantially expand Clear Logic's market acceptance."
For El Monte, Calif.-based Marshall, the Clear Logic line could provide an entry point into Altera's customer base, which was previously beyond its reach. Clear Logic bills its ASICs as lower cost, pin-compatible replacements for MAX 7000 and FLEX 8000 PLDs from Altera Corp., San Jose.
Marshall currently carries programmable logic lines from Atmel, Cypress Semiconductor, Lucent Technologies' Microelectronics Group, Philips Semiconductors, and Vantis, but is still reeling from its loss of the $80 million Xilinx line last October.
Meanwhile, Clear Logic is targeting an OEM base that is accustomed to buying parts through distribution.
Altera is the leading vendor of product term-based PLDs, and sells 90% of its product through the distribution channel.
"If a customer's comfortable using distribution to buy Altera parts-even though Marshall isn't an Altera distributor-we want to offer the same kind of channel for them," Knowlton said.
Clear Logic is also distributed in North America by All American Semiconductor Inc., Miami.
While the product Clear Logic sells is a custom device, from the buyer's perspective it looks like a standard part.
Working directly from the customer's bitstream file or programmed part, Clear Logic instantly converts the Altera design to an ASIC without tacking on non-recurring engineering charges or minimum order requirements.
Prototypes can be delivered in two weeks, with production parts in four weeks, the company said.
Clear Logic is currently shipping the CL8000 FLEX 8000 replacement family. The company plans this quarter to launch its CL7000 and CL7000S alternatives to Altera's MAX 7000 and 7000S CPLDs, and has sampled more than 100 of the 7000-series designs so far, Knowlton said.