Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Application-Specific Integrated Circuit Design Capabilities
Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) design capabilities have become relatively common in response to the demand for small, high-performance electronics in Department of Defense (DOD) systems. However, the Northrop Grumman, Defensive Systems Division (DSD) has effectively prioritized its efforts to focus on client requirements. The company’s well-integrated ASIC design capabilities (e.g., analog, digital, mixed signals) also provide many benefits for its existing products including improvements to performance, cost, reliability, repeatability, weight, and volume.
Northrop Grumman DSD refined its capabilities by incorporating a variety of elements into its process. These elements include experienced personnel, computer aided design (CAD) tools, a design database, and strategic foundry relationships. The company also uses system performance to take full advantage of available component performance, while providing repeatability and reducing labor requirements for the tailoring of radio frequency (RF) and digital functions. By reducing ASIC design costs, Northrop Grumman DSD decreased production costs by a 3:1 factor and increased reliability by a 10:1 factor. Reliability improvements primarily involve the reduction of component levels and associated interconnections.
Since implementing its ASIC design capabilities, Northrop Grumman DSD has produced consistently good yield rates with timely deliveries. In addition, detailed knowledge and the monitoring of customer priorities enable the company to select the most appropriate design techniques and methodologies. Combined with good foundry vendor relationships, Northrop Grumman DSD can effect trade-offs that best suit its client requirement profiles. The company also uses available analysis and simulation tools to ensure success, and revises techniques for best results as industry processes evolve.
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