Companies opting to develop an ASIC often possess expertise in the architecture and logic-design portions of the project. But unless a team of physical-design experts is hired, the design team would welcome the opportunity to transfer the implementation responsibility to a team of experts.
Such a team now exists at Open Silicon, a design services company that accepts designs at the RTL/netlist or GDS II level, performs all of the physical design, and co-manages the design through manufacturing. To do this, Open Silicon defined a methodology to evaluate designs to determine if they fall within the company's criteria to take on the project. It then formed a group of key partners along the way so customers can select among different foundries, intellectual-property resources, packaging suppliers, and test vendors while having complete visibility over the project schedules.
In Open Silicon's cost-plus-margin approach, a very disciplined methodology creates the design, delivering results that meet specifications the first time through the process. Ultimately, it minimizes the nonrecurring engineering costs and reduces time-to-market.