According to Gartner Dataquest, the number of taped out asic designs fell by 9.5% in 2008 and the company expects a further decline of 22% in 2009.

ASIC design starts have been dropping in numbers for years due to system integration, rising design costs and other types of devices – such as fpgas or assps – taking the socket. "Layer the financial crisis on top of these prevailing trends," Gartner analyst Bryan Lewis, pictured, contended, "and you have an increasing downward slope for asic design starts in 2009." The company says fpgas are now the technology of choice and have a 30:1 advantage in terms of design starts. Lewis said the downturn began to affect design starts in the fourth quarter of 2008, with projects being 'pushed out' into 2009. "The key question is," he noted, "how many of these designs will be cancelled altogether in 2009 due to a lack of funding or never get introduced to the market?" Lewis believes a large percentage of designs will not reach production and will die a slow death by indefinite push outs.