[time-nuts] New NIST Time Code to Boost Reception for Radio-Controlled Clocks

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Sat May 31 21:31:55 EDT 2014


The price of the spin isn’t just the cost of the masks. There’s a non-trivial cost involved in the redesign of the chip and the testing that finds the problem. 

You can indeed do a project run for $5,000 and get usable chips. The same process moved to a single wafer also can give you a few thousand (maybe) of some very expensive dice. If you want a proper mask set and high volume / low cost tooling - it’s not cheap. 


On May 31, 2014, at 9:08 PM, Jim Lux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:

> On 5/31/14, 5:48 PM, Bob Camp wrote:
>> Hi
>> A thousand chips at $1 a chip is a very different thing than a thousand chips at $100 a chip. The next issue might be that they only have them in die form. The issue after that probably is that you really want the version 3 (or 9) chips that actually work with all the modulation schemes. I’ve been down the road with a number of similar chips that took *many* rev’s before they really did what they were intended to do. Many millions of dollars a pass times 3 or 6 passes is an whole different world …..
> These days, though, the "per spin" cost is substantially lower, and the number of spins has been reduced, assuming you're forking out the many $M /year for the design tools.  I've been given to understand that an RF ASIC spin in CMOS (which works up to low microwave frequencies) is around $100k and would get you a wafer of dice.
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