Say I want N-ADCs, M-amplifiers, K-filters, and why not, an oscillator too. Is there a platform to combine whatever device i need, and that this platform is implemented on a single chip?

I know an FPGA has a pool of logic gates and flip-flips, and so anyone can implement a huge number of functionalities with some coding. But is there something similar in the analog and mixed signal domain of electronics? If so, how do you build your system? is it like a drag and drop sort of thing, where you choose whatever device you need from a library and place it in a layout, and then fab it? Could this be ASIC? can I layout my own ASIC using, for example, Cadence?

Please some details!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Depending on your actual requirements, the Cypress PSOC may be of interest. The Wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSoC) has a reasonable summary and the datasheets are available from Cypress (cypress.com/products/…) $\endgroup$
    – tonys
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Tonys. Thanks for your input. Very interesting! $\endgroup$
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


It is perfectly possible to build your own mixed circuit chip, but you will indeed need to learn quite a few things if you want to do it by yourself.

First I would like to say that what you will do is not a drag and drop but a place and route

If you want to do it by yourself, here are the steps to follow:

  • Determine the technology you want to use, if you don’t know what to choose try with a CMOS 250/130nm technology (cheapest), CMOS-biCMOS 250/130nm (more flexible also compatible with large range of frequencies) or with 45/65/130nm CMOS (less flexible, with good performances and a lot of design blocks available)
  • Get in contact with the foundries that provides the chosen technology, and they will provide you a design platform (most likely Cadence, but few foundries would also propose platforms compatible with some cheaper – and less complete - design software)
  • Learn how to use the design software and the company platforms (Usually companies propose tutorials) – it will NOT take just a day to be comfortable! –
  • Use the blocks provided on the platform, and the best of you knowledge to bring a properly connected semi-custom design. (Full custom not recommended without years of experience) Send it to the foundry, and get your chip, packed as you asked.

Otherwise you could also just contact a company with circuit design services and explain your project, they are very qualified, and this will avoid you a jump into the vast world of circuit design.

Edit: As noted in the comments by Tonys, there is too the possibility to use programmable system on chips. The limitations will be that the electrical performances and number of devices will be quite limited.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean that the provided PDK by the foundry has a library of devices like ADC, op-amps, among maybe others, designed and well-tested, and all i need is to place and route them in my layout then run DRC and submit the whole thing? or do I need to design every single one of them? One more question, can I submit a design having analog, mixed-, and digital signal devices on the same die? I mean does a foundry provide such a run, or digital on one run, while analog and mixed on a separate run, and so two different chiplets are fabed eventually? $\endgroup$
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ You will need to ask for digital libraries, if you only ask for PDK you will get only the design environment with the basic components, you can also buy digital libraries to third parties (with different performances/functionality). Digital libraries will include already prepared devices. But it is not 'all you need to do' because assembly is also quite a task, to learn and to do. $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 8:13

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