BANGALORE, India Innovation in the IC industry combined with increasing demand for high-performance electronic systems is driving demand for structured ASICs, according to a study by Frost and Sullivan.
"Structured ASICs are proving to be highly promising components for next-generation devices and combine the performance/cost advantage of standard-cell ASICs and the low-risk nature of FPGAs while dramatically simplifying the design process," said Sivakumar Muthuramalingam, research analyst at Frost and Sullivan (New York).
According to Muthuramalingam, structured ASICs can slash NRE costs by over 85 percent in derivative chips and are set to become a crucial element in deep sub-micron (DSM) designs. "A significant percent of FPGA design wins could now be lost to structured ASICs that lowers cost and time to market, while increasing performance," he said.
Though the benefits of structured ASICs are known, researchers still need to address issues such as cross talk and signal integrity when implementing designs at DSM levels. In the more advanced process nodes, power leakage is a serious issue that needs to be resolved. Another challenge is in generating awareness and popularizing structured ASICs across a diverse range of end-user applications.
The target markets for structured ASICs include telecommunications, data storage and digital computing/networking that demand high performance, but require modest production volumes.