Author - Raul Perez

5 Reasons Why NOT To Hire a Tier 1 Semiconductor Supplier for Your Custom Silicon Project.

It’s quite common for system companies to want to work with brand names whenever they start playing with the idea of a custom silicon program. Like the old adage says: “no one ever got fired for choosing IBM”. And it’s not a bad deal for some system companies to go work with brand name semiconductor suppliers. Large semiconductor suppliers...

How to manage trans national, multi company, and cross functional teams

All system custom silicon projects where the silicon is not designed and manufactured in-house require at least two companies to directly interface with each other: the system company and the silicon supplier company. Each one of these two companies has other companies that interact with them.  Typically, the system company works with a contract manufacturer, and that contract manufacturer interacts...

The Spartan flow: when losing is NOT an option.

Every so often a custom silicon socket comes up at a system company that you simply cannot afford to lose. These are the types of custom silicon sockets that last for generations of a product, in huge and predictable volumes, and for whatever reason they may become available. It’s not easy to predict when a strategic change by a...

How to pitch new silicon to a system company: knowing the timing and the process are key ingredients for success.

Since I’ve been on both sides of the table when it comes to buying/prospecting or selling/pitching silicon components, I want to put down some thoughts about how things work out timing and process wise such that the buyer is most receptive to the pitch.    Some key steps are:Understand the product release date. There are many companies that release their products...

System custom silicon process

System Custom Silicon Development

In this video, I explain the system custom silicon development process focusing only on the schedule interactions and phases of the process. In the highly competitive electronics market, top electronics companies choose to develop custom silicon internally and with supplier partnerships to obtain substantial benefits in performance, size, IP protection and cost reduction. System custom silicon is developed in parallel...

Trust, but verify. How to catch peanut butter engineering before it spreads into your system — Part 2: Verification.

Verification is a field that has emerged as its own discipline, no longer being relegated to an activity led by the design team, and to which time is allocated as long as it doesn’t get in the way of designing. Chip companies that want to have predictable product release cycles have realized that it is a false choice to...

Trust, but verify. How to catch peanut butter engineering before it spreads into your system — Part 1: Validation.

I will address this topic with two blog posts: validation (i.e. post silicon) -- Part 1, and verification (pre-silicon) -- Part 2. In this blog post, I will focus on validation. One of the upsides of using catalog chips that have been in the market for a long time and have ramped in substantial volumes is that other system companies...

How to keep your leverage while single sourcing custom system silicon

It can be a high wire walk to be able to keep your leverage in negotiating with a chip supplier while also committing to be single sourced on a custom silicon component. In an ideal world, one could have multiple sources for a custom chip. But in reality the engineering team’s time is a highly priced asset for your...

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5 things you need to plan for custom system silicon

Custom silicon can be the right solution for your system for a lot of different reasons, but whatever they may be in your case, there are some basic steps that should always be taken to start on the path towards a successful custom silicon project. Here are five basic steps: 1. Decide where to integrate each type of circuit. By ‘where’...