An ASIC (Application Specific Integration Circuit) is almost any IC which is not a generic processor (CPU). It can be a full custom, COT product (Customer Owned Tooling where the IC designer supplies the GDS2 to the foundry) but it is usually used for Standard Cell based Designs. The sign-off can be at RTL, Static Timing Analyzed Gate Level or GDS2 level. The NRE goes down with each step (IOW, RTL sign-off NRE is higher than GDS2 NRE).

ASIC development usually consists of the following steps:

Tools:

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