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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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Future Outlook for Custom Chips

The genie is out of the bottle. Once it became possible to create custom chips, there was no going back. Now the ASIC business generates tens of billions of dollars per year, a significant part of the overall semiconductor economy. Just as important, custom and customizable chips have enabled new kinds of products, and allowed products to get to market faster. Custom chips complement the mass-market chips produced by big chip companies the way tailored outfits complement off-the-rack clothes.

Yet for all the rising popularity of custom ASICs, some hurdles are fast approaching. Ironically, the very advances in technology that allowed custom chips to exist are now pricing them out of reach. Before, it was technologically ...

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