Say I have designed a logic circuit. If I were to construct it, due to the cost of individual components as IC's, it would be very expensive (and tedious). Is there a way that I can get my circuit printed into an IC?

So far it seems from my research that companies don't like to print a single IC and would rather that you ordered thousands and pay a minimum fee of ~$10,000 which for my budget is out of the question.

The circuit I have now I estimate is around $600 which is still not within my budget (under $200).

Is there any reasonable way to do this? I can't imagine it is this hard for people to build their own (largeish) logic circuits.

Edit: I should add that this is a hobby and only one or so IC is needed.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Is it logic only? FPGA to go.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Sep 3, 2015 at 16:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Why is this downvoted? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2015 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Anybody know what is wrong with this question so that I can be more careful next time? If its an extremely stupid question then I apologise but I can't exactly know that without learning. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2015 at 19:39
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ See this old question: How much does it cost to have a custom ASIC made? \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Sep 3, 2015 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ If your circuit is hobby oriented, comprises only one or so ICs, and you can't build one for less than $200, I'd be very interested in seeing the schematic. Can you post it, please? \$\endgroup\$
    – EM Fields
    Sep 3, 2015 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


In a word, no. The practical hurdles between you and getting something fabricated are huge - both monetary and logistical. The first problem you are going to have is getting a company to work with you - never mind the fact that designing an integrated circuit is a whole world of its own.

I would suggest instead that you look at FPGAs or CPLDs if the circuit is logic-only. There are lots of different ways in to this, but you could look at something like the Papilio if you like things that look like Arduinos. Before you commit to buying any hardware, however, you should be able to use whatever software toolchain your chosen platform supports to determine the size of device required to support your design.

By the way, if you want an insight into why it costs so much to tool up for and produce an IC, take a look at this video. The voice over is annoying, but the content is very good.


By coincidence someone just sent me a link to the Mojo which seems similar to the Papilio, but with some nice looking tutorials.


It really does cost around $10,000 to set up equipment that can make a particular IC. Once that's done, it costs pennies to make more. That's the reason for the quote you got.

If your logic is not time constrained, you can do the same thing using a microprocessor. If you do need it to be fast, an FPGA is the way to go.

Note that with either alternative, you run into a curiously similar situation. It takes time (and money, if you hire someone) to work out the logic and write the code to program the microprocessor or FPGA. And once you are past that expense, you can make further copies at almost no cost.


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