Gate Array

Gate array is an approach to fast design and manufacture of integrated circuits. A gate array circuit is a prefabricated circuit with no particular function in which transistors, standard logic gates, and other active devices are placed at regular predefined positions and manufactured on a wafer, usually called master slice. Creation of a circuit with a specified function is accomplished by adding metal interconnects to the chips on the master slice.

Gate array master slices may be prefabricated and stockpiled in large quantities regardless customer orders. The fabrication according to customer specifications may be finished in a fraction of time compared with the fully custom design.

This design style is the easiest for design and fastest for processing of the order. Due to mass production, it is also the cheapest one. Drawbacks are low density and performance. However this style is a viable approach for small-batch orders, as well as for prototyping.

An evolution of this approach is FPGA, field-programmable gate arrays

This page is linked from: FPGA