Different Business Models
Beyond differences in the technical side, there also are differences in the digital and analog business models. The digital world has fewer designs, but high volume. Fewer process variants are seen, and the designs are easily transferable between fabs. First-time-right is standard, enabled by comprehensive EDA support. Abundant transferable digital IP can help shorten the design process. Product lifetime and availability are consumer driven, and are relatively short compared to the analog world.
Analog foundry business leads to more tape-ins, and each one often requires its own process variant. In contrast to digital designs, first-time-right typically is not achievable. In addition, transfer from fab to fab is quite difficult and requires substantial effort because the designs are fab-specific. Again, that’s because analog designs must cope with much more complex specifications and the physics of the devices, making fab transfer extremely difficult. Extended product lifetime requirements – in some cases up to 15 years – are typical for analog circuits.