ASIC Cost Estimator

This Excel spreadsheet helps to estimate and compare the overall costs of ASICs and PLDs produced in industrial quantities:

The focus is on guiding project management in their decisions by taking into account all cost factors and by making a clear distinction between up-front costs (such as development) and recurring costs (such as packaging).

In addition, the spreadsheet juxtaposes various figures calculated from the data entered and rules of thumb obtained from experience and literature thereby cautioning against overconfidential assumptions.

The tool has not been written with the ambition of estimating chip area, power dissipation, yield, and other figures of more technical nature as software for doing so is available both as freeware and commercially, see, IC-Knowledge and UMC-Chipsizer, for instance. Rather, the technical numbers obtained from such calculators can serve as input to our spreadsheet along with data of essentially commercial nature.

While it is clear that semiconductor vendors have more sophisticated cost calculators at their disposal, they do not normally make them available to their customers, let alone to students and universities. The spreadsheet has thus been designed as a makeshift according to the motto "I'd rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong".