Custom ASICs and Foundry Services Are Becoming Routine

An integrated circuit solution is as viable as one that is assembled of individual components. This trend has been visible for several years, and is reaching the point where it is practical for almost any designer to work with. The capabilities and limitations of the various IC processes can be very different from classic RF, microwave or high speed digital design. The resistivity and dielectric constant of the substrate, the use of metallization layers, and the thermal response of the material require a unique set of design skills beyond basic circuit theory. Building transistors is a different type of engineering than simply building with transistors.