Custom Silicon Solutions, Inc. Newsletter
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May/June 2009
In This Issue
CSS555C Available in DIP or SOIC Packages

Demo Board 
CSS announces the availability of its CSS555C, a significantly improved version of the industry standard 555 timer.  The CSS555C includes advanced features such as a programmable decade counter and very low operating currents.
CSS555C Advanced Features:  
  • Operating current <5uA (1.2V to 5.5V)
  • Programmable Counter (6- Decade)
  • Internal Timing Cap (Low TC)
  • Standard 8-pin Package (DIP or SOIC) 
Custom Silicon Solutions' CSS555C IC provides micropower operation and programmable time delays ranging from microseconds to hours, even with no external timing capacitor!  Its extremely low power (10X lower than all other 555 timers) makes it ideal for battery-operated applications. 
It has a wide supply range of 1.2V to 5.5V.  The analog circuits are temperature compensated to provide excellent stability over a wide temperature range (-40˚C to +85˚C).  The internal 100pF timing capacitor can be electronically trimmed.  Configuration data for the counter and timing capacitor is held in EEPROM to maintain the standard 555 timer pin count and function.
Free Samples of the CSS555C are available from CSS today in either 8-pin DIP or SOIC packages.  See coupon below.
 Custom Demo Kit Board

Demo Board
To make evaluation of the new 555 Timer as quick and easy as possible, a Demonstration Kit for programming this device is also available.
A simple graphic interface makes configuration changes a snap. 
Demo Kits may be purchased at a special, introductory price of $35.00. See coupon below.

"Through many years and many custom chip developments and with integrity, commitment, innovation and support, CSS has continually demonstrated leadership in providing turnkey, mixed signal custom chips that allow Curtis Instruments to develop cost effective and market leading products."

Mike Miller
Product Manager                 Timing & Counting Products
Curtis Instruments, Inc.

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Memberships & Industry Associations:
  • Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA)
  • IEEE
  • Bruin Professionals  
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or call us at
(949) 289-9056 
Welcome to the newest edition of the CSS Newsletter.  We hope you find these articles informative and helpful in your work.
Custom Silicon Solutions (CSS) provides a true Turn-Key Solution to meet your Mixed Signal ASIC needs - from Development through Production.  Our mission is to develop an ASIC that meets your requirement at the lowest possible price and with a minimum of assistance from your technical staff.  Please visit us at for more information or send an inquiry to [email protected].

Why Develop a 
 Mixed Signal ASIC?

Our ASIC customers are fully aware of all the advantages of mixed signal ASICs, but for those who have never considered one, this top-level review should be helpful.  When compared to a system designed with Standard ICs, a mixed signal ASIC can reduce power, size and production costs and improve performance and reliability.  The importance of these advantages varies with the application and your needs.
Optimized Performance
Power is often a significant consideration.  Custom mixed signal ASICs can considerably reduce the power consumption of your electronic system.  With power as a primary concern, the logic for a custom ASIC can efficiently be implemented in a state machine and avoid the power consumption of a microcontroller clock solution.  Also, analog functions in a mixed signal ASIC can be optimized for low power operation, a feature not often available in Standard ICs.  At CSS we find that system power can often be reduced to a small fraction of what it would be in a system built with Standard ICs.
On the other hand, speed may be more important than power.  You have the option of a speed/power trade-off in the design of a custom ASIC.  Or, perhaps noise is a critical issue in your design.  The point is that with a custom mixed-signal ASIC, the characteristics most critical for your application can be optimized during the design of the ASIC.
Improved Analog Performance
Analog performance may also improve with a mixed signal ASIC.  Here, CSS has a particular advantage.  We have developed the capability to trim important analog functions using nonvolatile memory (EEPROM) cells built into the ASIC.  For example, with this capability we can trim out production variations and set amplifier gains as needed to meet critical specifications.
Reduced Size
Of course, an ASIC is much smaller than all of the Standard ICs that it may replace.  So, if this is one of your requirements, a custom ASIC may be the only solution.  You can further reduce size by selection of a small surface mount package, such as a QFN package.  CSS has access to a wide variety of small packages and packaging facilities to meet your needs.
Improved Reliability
A custom ASIC will also improve your system reliability.  The reduction in component count and their required interconnects at the board level provides for a significant improvement in reliability.
Reduced Cost
A custom mixed signal ASIC can significantly reduce your production costs.  This is often the primary motivating factor for developing an ASIC.  The production cost of a custom ASIC can be considerably less than the components it replaces.  In addition, the reduction in components will reduce the system assembly costs.
The downside of a custom ASIC often presented is that they are expensive and time consuming to develop.  The development cost (NRE) of an ASIC should be compared to the savings it will provide in production.  Our experience at CSS is that when a custom ASIC is compared to the Standard ICs it replaces, the development NRE can typically be recovered in a year of production savings.
Reduced Development Time

Development time for a custom mixed signal ASIC may be longer than the development time using Standard ICs.  Development time depends on the complexity of the ASIC and the experience of the ASIC design team.  CSS has extensive design experience in the development of custom ASICs.  By using a proven development process and use of previously designed cells whenever possible, we are able to develop a custom ASIC in a relatively short time.
No Experience Necessary
Finally, in considering the development of a custom ASIC, you need to consider how much knowledge of ASIC development is required and what internal resources are necessary for your development to be successful.  Our customers are always pleased to find that they can acquire a mixed signal ASIC without the need to dedicate staff to the job or to cope with all of the technical aspects.  We provide a turn-key ASIC solution.
What should you do?
If you are at all interested in an ASIC you should give us a call at (949) 289-9056 or send an email with your questions to [email protected].  For more general information, please review our website:
If you would like free samples of our new CSS555C Programmable Timer, just Email [email protected] or Call (949) 289-9056.
Also, you may request a CSS555C Demonstration Kit for a reduced price of $35.00.
Mention Promotion Code: FJB01
Offer Expires: June 30, 2009