CPU由Soft core變Hard core的步驟
(Disclaimer: This might not be completely accurate since my experience in ASIC design is only that I took a course in integrated circuits a few years ago where we designed a small analog ASIC, basically just an op-amp).
My understanding of the process for taking verilog and making it into an ASIC is something like:
- Verify the verilog works in an FPGA first.
- Convert the verilog into equivalent logic gates.
- If you don’t have a library with designs for the logic gates, you need to design the logic gates for the ASIC process you will be using.
- Place the logic gates in the design.
- Connect the logic gates with metal.
- Add pads in the design for external connections.
- Run lots of simulations to verify that the design you’ve made is equivalent to the verilog you started with.
- Order the chips from an ASIC fab.
- Either wirebond the chips to your PCB (common during early testing), or have a factory package the chips into some standard package like QFN or BGA.
- Test that the MCU works as intended.
It seems that MOSIS no longer has a public pricelist, but found this instead: https://www.cmc.ca/en/WhatWeOffer/Make/FabPricing.aspx .
Pricing for your whole MCU depends on how big you make it. Which is something to take into account, for example the peer reviewed pricing on the above link: TSMC 0.18um: $300/mm2, TSMC 0.35um: $200/mm2 => 0.18um process is cheaper because the chip will be smaller.