AnSem announces new Analog ASIC strategy
AnSem has been very successful in delivering analog IC designs to its customers over the 13 years of its existence. A large group of customers have been co-operating with AnSem, often on multiple generations of their products in the healthcare, industrial, communication and defense & aerospace markets. This has allowed the engineering team to build up world-class core competencies in wired and wireless data transmission, data-acquisition and ultra low power applications.
Over the years, AnSem has repeatedly been requested by system OEM companies to deliver more than just an IC design. They wanted AnSem also to take care of manufacturing and deliver them finished products in volume. This has led AnSem to believe that there is a large untapped business opportunity in Europe for a company to deliver application specific and customer specific analog ASICs.
In contrast to the shrinking digital ASIC market (mainly due to the skyrocketing cost of developing a digital ASIC in an advanced nanometer scale CMOS process and the ever decreasing cost of dense FPGAs), the market for analog ASICs is actually growing as many small and medium size system OEM companies (SMEs) are only now discovering the strategic advantages of having their own analog ASIC in their products and the affordability of such a development. By focusing on ASIC opportunities with a large analog content, AnSem can leverage its large analog know-how and truly make a difference for its customers.
Since analog circuitry does not scale in the same way as digital, it is increasingly difficult and costly to integrate high performance analog circuitry onto a nanometer scale digital chip. An analog ASIC therefore often acts as a separate companion chip to a digital processor, a digital FPGA or digital System-on-Chip (SOC), thereby optimizing overall system integration cost. System OEMs want to take advantage of the size, power, performance and cost benefits that an analog ASIC solution offers, benefits traditionally only set aside for large OEMs with high volume applications. Having their own analog ASIC also gives small and medium size companies an attractive way of protecting their accumulated system knowhow as it now lies embedded, and therefore inaccessible, in their own chip.
AnSem's new Analog ASIC strategy offers a full turnkey solution to these system OEMs, even for small and medium production volumes. AnSem is involved during the complete product lifecycle, being a true one stop shop for its customers. It all starts with a system analysis and specification development in close cooperation with the customer, followed by the actual design and layout of the chip. AnSem then takes care of prototype manufacturing and prototype evaluation, often in parallel with the customer's own evaluation of the prototype chip in the target system. When the chip is given the green light by the customer, AnSem organizes the industrialization phase, including die and package qualification and test program development. During the initial production ramp-up, AnSem performs detailed quality monitoring and test and yield optimization, before releasing the chip for mass production. And finally, during the entire product manufacturing life cycle, AnSem provides full supply chain management services to its customers (from order intake to shipment of final goods to customer's warehouses or factories).