Full Custom IC
From the previous article "Customized IC—What is it", we can know that the features of fully customized IC are as follows: ：
Unit cost minimization
Maximize product value
Maximize product performance
Product efficiency optimization
Minimize product volume
Improve product reliability
Substantial protection of customers intellectual property rights
Custom IC meet your need?
IC designers and developers will subdivide customized ICs into ASIC and ASSP (Application Specific Standard Product). From the perspective of IC design engineers, the distinction between the two will be based on technology, function, application, etc. Wait to separate, but if you look at the end customer’s product area, project attributes, and customer confidentiality requirements, in fact, the real difference between ASIC and ASSP lies in the degree of confidentiality protection required by the customer and the ownership of related rights:
It can be seen from Figure 3 that the principle of ASIC, that is, the single exclusive nature is very strong, including that it can only be used by a single customer and limited to specific industries. Owned by the customer, when the customer's products are mass-produced, the same production line of a single fixed OEM/ODM vendor is limited. The ASSP can be used by multiple customers in a non-competitive and straightforward manner. There can be multiple core sources, customers can invest in different OEM/ODM, and the related rights belong to the supplier.
The main difference between the two lies in the degree of technical protection that customers want. This is the most critical reason why customers desire to develop their own ASICs.
Looking back at the main consumer electronics products in the market, because various ICs have widely used standard products, each IC manufacturer has a public version solution (Total Solution) for reference, and even an integrated solution provider (Turnkey Provider or Turnkey House) The complete solution (Turnkey Solution) includes the BOM List, PCB steel plate file (gerber), and SMT house. In principle, customers follow the instructions of the complete solution to construct according to the drawings and take care of the parts completely. Order the list and submit it to the SMT production line with complete parameters for trial production. The functions and safety regulations of the product will not be far apart. Therefore, the major system factories mainly focusing on consumer electronics are mainly time races. Consider, and in the second edition, based on more rigorous firmware prevention behavior, more active detection of firmware software, to downgrade the hardware and seek to reduce the hardware cost and production cost.
If your product project is the same as the consumer electronics in the previous paragraph, it is urgent in time and using discrete standard products may be the only choice; also, if the product is special, it is subject to development and design costs. , Production costs and other budgetary constraints, or economic scale restrictions due to the small number of production sets, low-integration standard products are indeed the most feasible way. It's just that the products made from discrete standard products are too easy to be "learned" by reverse engineering. Even if the product is filled with waterproof and heat-dissipating vinyl, it takes at most one hour to dig it out.
Indeed, there is no protection at all. Competitors only need to buy one or two and go back to dismantle them, and then they can learn from them and develop similar or even improved evolutionary products. Even if the competitor buys it back for dismantling, it is still unknown (for example: IC printing has been worn out), but ask a few IC OEMs or solution providers, there will definitely be volunteers-that is to provide their own solutions and want to become a competitor "On time-suppliers".
The greatest value of ASICs that can exist in the market and remain unshakable is precisely because ASICs are the most effective way to protect technological intellectual and financial capabilities compared to patents. It is also because of this that AirAsia can earn a place in the market, because AirAsia understands that what customers are most eager for is to achieve the perfect balance of performance and efficiency under the premise of adequate protection of technology crystallization. If the technological crystallization cannot be fully protected, the perfect technological crystallization that has been worked hard will only be quickly "learned" by competitors.