Gallium Arsenide pioneer Vitesse Semiconductor Corp, Camarillo, California has launched a Viper family of low-cost GaAs gate arrays, the VGLC2K, VGLC10K and the VGLC15K with 1,500, 7,000 and 13,000 usable gates respectively. It claims they offer two to three times the performance of competing BiCMOS arrays at comparable cost, and is targeting them at designers of computer systems, including personal computers and workstations, and peripherals such as disk drives and printers. Vitesse reckons that the Viper arrays are the optimal ASIC for system designs running at 50MHz or above, offering shorter gate delays, lower power requirements and increased design margins compared with BiCMOS. It reckons that they are so much faster that system designers can achieve the performance they want without resorting to pipelining, enabling reduced input-output and gate counts, power consumption and ultimately lower system cost. The arrays are based on the Vitesse 0.6 micron H-GaAs III process technology. A two-input NOR gate has a typical delay of 60pS unloaded while dissipating 0.18mW. Non-recurring engineering charges start at $25,000 and production pricing starts at less than 0.5 cents per used gate in quantities of 10,000-up; the Vipers are ready now.
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