Skip to Main Content
For pt.I see Proc. 1985 Custom Integrated Circuits Conf., p. 148-52. The economics of MSI, semi-custom, and full-custom device technologies are compared by examining their effect on total product cost, including development, manufacturing, and service. Contrary to usual practice, the definition of costs includes not only device costs but also all other device-dependent costs, such as the costs of PWB assembly and power. All costs have been estimated by in-depth analysis of product-cost structure. The results indicate that both semi-custom and full-custom devices can be cost-effective when compared to MSI. Semi-custom devices have lower costs than MSI at nearly any production volume level. Full-custom devices can be cost-effective at low production volumes if they have more gates per pin than semi-custom devices. However, full-custom devices incur a significant development schedule penalty. Estimation rules and nomograms are provided to aid in the selection of cost-effective methodologies as a function of a number of parameters, including development time.