External events can have a sudden impact on product supply. A major earthquake and tsunami flooded a semiconductor manufacturing site and immediately affected the delivery of silicon devices. One of the impacted devices was a custom ASIC designed for a series of telecom products. The Tier 1 Telecom Network Equipment Manufacturer was looking for an immediate replacement of the device that could otherwise halt system deliveries for a long period. They asked AimValley for a solution.
The customer needs a fast turnaround time and cannot afford to wait for a full ASIC redesign cycle. Also, the solution should not result in extra R&D effort for their internal system software or hardware design teams of the multiple affected product series.
By replacing an End-of-Life (EoL) device with an FPGA, Aimvalley is able to extend the life-cycle of the product. An FPGA design was chosen to reduce the time to market and resulting in a short interruption in product supply.
AimValley developed a drop-in replacement based on an FPGA on an interposer design. The interposer is a small Printed Circuit Board that has the same footprint as the replaced ASIC. On the interposer board, an FPGA performs the functionality of the replaced ASIC. Additional circuitry was added to handle multiple supply voltages and IO signaling differences between the ASIC and the interposer design.