Custom Design as an obsolete ic replacement?

In addition to our wide range of standard electronic components, semiconductors and integrated circuits, Force Technologies Ltd. offers custom design and manufacture to meet the specific requirements of clients in the commercial, industrial, military, aerospace and space sectors.

Typical process Flow for new designs

  1. Netlist extraction using Scanning Electron Microscope. Photographing each layer of the device.
  2. Merging of images converted into GDS database.
  3. Database processing to extract a Spice Netlist and Verilog netlist.
  4. Measurement of devices to assist in calibration of any Analog component device sizes.
  5. Write simulations to exercise the part and try the simulations on an actual part using our tester.
  6. Once we have the netlist, the design work splits into digital and Analog portions. The digital portion continues to write simulations and run them on the netlist.
  7. Simulation results will be used to exercise the part on the tester.
  8. Any Analog portion will consist of running Spice on the main Analog components (transmit codec, receive codec, microphone input and audio drivers).
  9. Use the Spice to verify correct operation over the process, temperature, and voltage ranges. We will also check for the stability of any op amps.
  10. Satisfied with any Analog design, we will begin the layout of the Analog portions. We will follow a similar floorplan to the existing part.
  11. The digital portions will be implemented using a gate array architecture.
  12. When the layout is complete, we will run the DRL and LVS tests along with post route simulations.
  13. When completed the design will tape out.

Test

  1. In parallel with the design activities, we will start working on the test program and the test hardware. Any Codecs are notoriously hard to test. We will build a load board that contains any DACs and ADCs. Using simultaneous tones to stimulate the codec, and run a FFT on the output to analyse the results. Simultaneous tones can quickly measure the code bandwidths and filter roll-offs. It also is a good way to measure for intermodulation distortion and noise floor.

Prototypes

  1. The prototype cycle begins when we tape out. The data base is evaluated by the fab, and we are asked to approve the DRC results. Then the data base is sized and sent to the mask shop. The masks are made and returned to the fab, and the first lot of wafers is started. When completed, the wafers will be assembled by the subcontractor, and returned to Force for electrical test at the test house.
  2. We will conduct additional testing on these sample parts, including temperature testing and a detailed measurements of all data sheet parameters.
    Prototype shipment: Once we have completed and are satisfied the prototypes may be shipped so the customer may test and qualify them in their end product.
  3. Force does guarantee that the device will work in the customer application. If the prototypes need a revision we will need to understand and work with the customer to define the problem in order to make a revision and supply new prototypes for qualification. We have never had a project where we could not deliver working devices to a customer who was willing to work with us.

We have received commissions for many designs by reverse engineering “standard” OEM devices. From 6800 to VME parts unique to companies like: Motorola, Cypress, IDT and many, many others.

Manufacture options include the emulation by ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), modules, SoC (System on a Chip), and of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), designing for fixed configuration manufacture with multiple program ability.

Overcome problems with procurement of packages, IC components and die. Continued availability of obsolete components can also be assured by back-engineering, design and manufacturing techniques.

Custom semiconductor design services also include options for: thick film circuits, monolithic parts and modules and ASIC Structured cell developments.

Let Force discuss with you the viability of your requirement and work together to see if an engineering solution to your obsolescence can be established.