According to Frost & Sullivan, the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) market generated revenues of $2.99 billion in 2006 and will reach $4.10 billion in 2010. The growth is driven by increasing automobile sales. In particular, the European region expects to generate more revenues than any other region due to their early technological acceptance and government regulations. Additionally, the Asian region continues to exhibit one of the fastest growth rates as it increasingly emphasizes highly customized applications such as engine control valve timing.
ASICs represent the most suitable option when volumes related to applications appear poised to experience significant growth. However, ASIC manufacturers will still face the challenge of matching performance requirements with a product’s cost. Higher non-recurring engineering (NRE) and longer time to market characterize ASIC products. However, the unit and integration costs remain less than FPGAs.
Technological developments will likely help reduce the time to market and the NRE costs for ASIC, which will give the market a boost. In addition, market participants should target growing and developing economies to take advantage of opportunities for low cost and higher volume automobile applications.