MCE launches solution to ASIC and IC obsolescence

A Micro Circuit Engineering product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Oct 23, 2000

MCE has launched a specialist service offering a variety of solutions to the replacement of obsolete ASICs which can obviate the need for circuit re-design and re-qualification.

The replacement of obsolete application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and standard ICs is a critical issue for long-lifetime electronic products.

When additional or spare components are required and the semiconductor manufacturer has made the process obsolete, end users are faced with the problem of sourcing new components whilst trying to avoid an expensive re-design exercise, sometimes without the original design data.

They may also need to test and certify that the replacement component meets all the original specifications.

Micro Circuit Engineering (MCE) has launched a specialist service offering a variety of solutions to this problem which can obviate the need for circuit re-design and re-qualification.

Options available from MCE include: Device replication by re-designing the component from the 'net list' of its electrical functions, test vectors and 'known good die' (KGD - existing components which are known to work).

Recovery of design data from archives which themselves are now on obsolete media and data formats.

Reverse engineering by inspection of the KGD to produce the net list.

Using customised field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) which can replace the ASIC functions in identical package footprints.

Purchasing the final production run of devices from the original manufacturer ('last time buy wafer procurement') which MCE can then hold in dry nitrogen storage to ensure full functionality when the devices are required.

Process porting, where the device functionality is transferred to a similar, available process technology.

The devices can be released to a range of standards, including Mil Std 883, and fully tested and certified to demonstrate compliance.

MCE Tewkesbury is a leading supplier of high reliability electronics for aerospace, industrial, telecommunications, computer and medical applications.

It specialises in the design and manufacture of ASICs and MCMs (multi-chip modules) and offers flexible design interface and foundry-independent silicon sourcing.

MCE is part of the Aerospace Group of Smiths Industries.

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