By Rick Mosher , AMI Semiconductor Feb 1 2006 (13:49 PM), Courtesy of Embedded Systems Programming
As with any complex technology, embedded systems developers have many factors to consider when selecting a design partner in today's semiconductor market, particularly if planning to convert FPGAs to ASICs.
Intellectual property (IP) is one of the most important considerations. Selecting the right IP can make a sizeable difference in total cost of ownership. In addition to determining the type of IP required (SerDes, USB interfaces for computing, Ethernet MACs, 32-bit RISC processors, and so forth) you must consider the portability and reusability of the IP. When targeting an FPGA for conversion to an ASIC, you must also consider how compatible the IP is with both the FPGA and the ASIC. This compatibility is especially important for critical pieces of IP such as I/O, memory, and timing generators. Finally, you'll need to consider numerous factors when selecting third-party IP including compatibility, maturity, cost, legal issues, verification, quality, and the vendor itself.
This primer will help you navigate through the choices and plan ahead for a successful project, specifically on FPGA-to-ASIC conversions.
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