Advanced ASICs – It Takes an Ecosystem

Advanced ASICs – It Takes an Ecosystem
by Mike Gianfagna on 11-26-2017 at 2:00 pm

I remember the days of the IDM (integrated device manufacturer). For me, it was RCA, where I worked for 15 years as the company changed from RCA to GE and then ultimately to Harris Semiconductor. It’s a bit of a cliché, but life was simpler then, from a customer point of view at least. RCA did it all. We designed all the IP, did the physical… Read More


The Future of Chip Design in the Internet Age

The Future of Chip Design in the Internet Age
by Mike Gianfagna on 05-20-2015 at 1:00 am

Huge designs, spectacular design costs, astronomical capital expenditure. Welcome to the present day semiconductor industry. As discussed in my prior post, the days of democratized silicon access have been replaced by an elite market. Custom chips are once again a rich person’s game. Does it have to stay this way? I personally… Read More


Chip Design – Coming of Age in the Computer Age

Chip Design – Coming of Age in the Computer Age
by Mike Gianfagna on 05-13-2015 at 2:30 am

Previously, I examined chip design in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was a nostalgic ride – thanks to all those who shared their stories. I enjoyed reading all of them. I drew two basic conclusions in the prior post:

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  • Chip design problems are the same, more or less, over time. The numbers just get bigger
  • Raising abstraction
  • Read More

    Chip Design Problems Remain the Same, More or Less

    Chip Design Problems Remain the Same, More or Less
    by Mike Gianfagna on 05-09-2015 at 2:00 pm

    For those who may not know me, here is a brief introduction. I started in the semiconductor business when RCA was still making vacuum tubes and I wrote EDA software before there was an EDA industry. I’ve designed and sold chips and developed, sold and used EDA tools at companies as big as General Electric and as small as seven people.… Read More