Making the Build-or-Buy Decision—Balancing Cost, Time and Performance

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  • Author: Gary Breed
In this era of stan-dards-driven design,chip sets and refer-ence designs, you might think that the classic build-or-buy decision is rarely an engineering issue. Although it may have changed in its details, the decision pro-cess remains an important part of any engi-neer’s job. Some of you may suggest that it is more “how much to build” than whether or not to build, but the decision process remains the same. In some cases, the build-or-buy decision has gotten harder, due to more choices. For example, should a circuit be constructed using standard building-block ICs, a standard-cell ASIC, a semi-custom IC, or a full-up fabricat-ed IC for large-scale production.