Smart ASIC incorporates analog blocks

The design enables you to increase integration and lower costs.

Normally when you talk about ASIC’s (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), you always think of digital design, but now Triad Semiconductor Inc. has released a configurable ASIC that also includes analog blocks. This means that a number of digital and analog components can be combined and reduced to a single mixed signal ASIC.

In a press release Triad describes their VCA-6 that is being fabbed in a relatively conservative 180nm process technology by IBM.

The VCA-6 contains 320 configurable logic tiles. Each tile contains 3,150 NAND2 equivalent ASIC gates providing the array with a total of 1,008,000 ASIC gates. Unlike FPGAs, VCA-6 logic gates are not “equivalent system gates” but actual standard-cell gate primitives.

Each logic tile also contains a 4,608-bit 2-port static RAM organized as 128 words by 36-bits. The array also contains a total of 160 Kbytes of via configurable non-volatile read-only memory (ROM) arranged as 160 1K x 8 ROMs. The distributed RAM and ROM resources can be configured into larger composite memories.

The VCA-6 has over 100 op-amps with each op-amp surrounded by configurable collections of resistors, capacitors, transistors, and switches. The analog resources are arranged into single-ended analog tiles, fully differential analog tiles, resistive DAC tiles, bias tiles, and current steering DAC tiles.

According to Triad the ASIC is well suited for software defined radio, sonar, smart sensor fusion, FPGA plus analog replacement, and UAV controllers.S|A

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