ALD Full Custom Design

Although better known for our standard ICs and function specific ASIC’s, Advanced Linear Devices has a history of excellence in full custom design and engineering. Both the “Function-Specific” program and the design and engineering of our linear family of devices have equipped us with the tools and the know-how to excel in our full-custom designs. This experience and our devotion to high performance, low power silicon gate CMOS linear devices give ALD capabilities in full custom low power CMOS integrated circuit design that few companies can match. Full custom design can be applied in virtually any circuit in which enhanced or specialized performance requirements or generally unavailable functions, performance or cost optimization requirements not readily met using an ASIC approach.

There are three different possible ways to implement any linear circuit: standard off-the-shelf ICs, a semi custom standard cell IC, or a full custom chip. Although a full custom chip has superior performance in every category, it comes with a higher development cost and generally takes much greater development time. For this reason, it is important to realize the type of linear circuit which will most fully benefit from a full custom design. The areas in which an application can benefit from a full custom design are uniqueness of function, performance and cost. The more unique and demanding your application is, the greater the need for a full custom design. On the other hand, almost any design can become less expensive to implement with a full custom design if there is to be a large production volume.

Because all of ALD’s design and engineering charges are one time charge, once the design is completed your chip can be manufactured in volume for much less than the price of implementing a discrete design with the circuit board, testing, construction and other associated costs. Because of ALD’s involvement in the standard IC market and our function-specific program, we have a large amount of flexibility in our full custom designs. We can take a design that uses standard ALD ICs, modify certain parts of the design to optimize the performance of the ASIC and provide a circuit with the performance of a full custom design with many of the advantages of an ALD Function-Specific circuit. Or, we can design a circuit critical to your application and then quickly and easily add the non-critical linear and digital circuitry that would otherwise have to be custom designed on the same chip or left off-chip. Examples of projects which ALD would be ideally suited for would include a digital and analog circuit that drives a high resolution video display from battery power and the custom A to D converter needed in battery powered applications. Low power signal conditioning is also ideal for ALD custom design. The flexibility in designs which optimizes performance and minimizes power consumption leads to many applications.

ALD employs various precision trimming techniques in its standard linear IC. These same techniques and experiences can be advantageous in a given custom design situation. Design requirements such as precision matching, temperature matching and cancellation, compensation, computer controlled calibration, voltage and current trimming can all be implemented in a custom design environment.
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