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How much does it cost to have a custom ASIC made?

I have drawn a IC for an RFID application. And I want the IC to be super small. I wonder if there are manufacturers I can go to make it supersmall?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by 'supersmall'? Which technology have you used for the design? (those are things you consider before starting an IC design, not after) \$\endgroup\$
    – Renan
    Dec 2 '12 at 5:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Renan Let's assume the person has a concept, drawn on a paper napkin so to speak, not so much a design. I'd still love to know the thought process behind the question. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2 '12 at 5:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If one has money to toss around, there are presumably outfits that can help, including with turning whatever draft has been made into something functional and manufacturable. However the sensible first step would be to verify that something suitable is not already in inventory somewhere. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2 '12 at 5:23

If you are looking for a semiconductor fabrication house, this begs the question: Approximately how many million units per year would you be paying for?

The IC manufacture business does not generally do one-off designs, nor one-off fabrication runs. There are supposedly "boutique" semiconductor fab houses that do short runs, but if they really exist any more in the current economy, the cost for tooling and fabrication would be pretty steep.

On the benefit-of-doubt that your query is sincere though not well-researched, a clarification on what your design intends to achieve, and the budgets you are thinking of, might help provide some insight, or instead, point you to existing ICs, in supersmall sizes, that might serve your purposes well.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am really curious about whoever upvoted this answer: Thanks, but please tell me why! :-) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2 '12 at 5:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ideally any answer one submits should be worthy of an upvote according to them \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2 '12 at 5:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimpleCoder Of course. My point is, was the upvote for willingness to give benefit of doubt, or for stating the realities of IC fab. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2 '12 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just playing devils advocate :) - I know what you mean \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2 '12 at 5:42

Although it's true that creating a chip is very expensive, TSMC and other fabs do provide "shuttle services" that put many devices from many people on the die and reduce the price significantly. I've even hear a company getting a few samples of it's devices for $1500, which is extremely low when you consider the alternatives. Before anything, it's best to implement as much as possible on an FPGA to ensure the logic is correct, etc etc.

Take a look here: http://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/services/cyberShuttle.htm


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