Generalized Emulation of Microcircuits (GEM) is a U.S Government sponsored program. GEM meets the
form, fit, and functions of the original part by meeting 100% of the performance, quality assurance, and
other requirements specified in the original part specification (SMD, M38510, SCD), and is marked with
the required part number and quality assurance symbol. GEM is operated in accordance with the FAR,
and does not compete with private industry.
An Emulated GEM device is a mil-quality, Form, Fit, Function, and Interface (F3I) interchangeable microcircuit. The part is supplied to the same specifications as the original device so that no parts list, maintenance, repair or documentation changes are required.
Emulated devices are normally designed and fabricated on demand. For a typical, +5 V logic family device, turn-around time to deliver mil-screened parts is about six months after order acceptance. For more complex or unique devices, lead time could be a year or longer. If we have residual assets on hand from a previous delivery, we can typically ship product in two weeks or less.
Both the development and unit costs are a function of the complexity of the device to be Emulated. When a request is submitted, SRI reviews the detailed customer drawings to estimate effort and costs. All quoted prices are established by the DLA Land and Maritime GEM Program office. In many cases, the Emulation Program has funding sources to cover some or all of the development costs, i.e. Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE). NRE can range anywhere from $15,000 to over $2M for extremely complex devices. If we have previously delivered parts to your drawings/specifications, there would be zero NRE. It all depends on the level of effort required and the unique nature of your part. Unit prices typically range approximately $150 - $250 each, sometimes higher. Again, it will depend on complexity and quantity.
Any additional requirements to support Trusted microcircuit fabrication, such as secure data handling, secure staff or supplemental reporting, will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine extended schedule and additional cost requirements.
No – GEM is a DoD funded program with SRI International as the contractor for on-demand manufacturing of microcircuits. The GEM Program recreates microcircuits from the ground up, using specialized technology as part of a MIL-PRF-38535 Qualified Manufacturing Line (Class Q) development and manufacturing flow. The centerpiece of this flow is a dedicated, low-volume, high-reliability wafer fab in Princeton, New Jersey.
All parts are manufactured in our dedicated low-volume fabrication facility at the Microcircuit Emulation Center at SRI International in Princeton NJ. This provides in-house, on-site capabilities for on-demand microcircuit manufacturing that include: reverse engineering, design, layout, wafer fabrication, functional wafer probing, electrical and QML reliability testing. Our Cage Code is 0DKS7.
No – As a Government funded program GEM does not compete with any other accepted source(s). In 1997, DLA entered into an agreement with the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) to ensure the GEM Program was not Emulating circuit designs still supported by the IC industry. To comply with this agreement, all RFQ responses are routed through the DLA Land and Maritime GEM Program office that makes every attempt to locate an alternative source. Only when no acceptable sources can be found, will DLA authorize SRI to issue a GEM Emulation proposal on behalf of the GEM Program.
The GEM Program has delivered over 155,000 qualified units since inception of the program. Of these devices, there are over 445 unique device types. Sales have been made to DoD entities, OEMs, and distributors.
Over 560 different weapons systems have been supported, spanning all military branches; Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines.
Once a part has been Emulated it will always be procurable. The GEM program will never obsolete a part.
Submit a request for quote (RFQ) to either SRI or DLA. Include a procurement specification. Our technical staff will do a detailed review of the procurement specification to verify that the part falls within our Emulation capabilities. This review will also establish the lead time and development costs reflected in the final proposal. DLA reviews all proposals prior to release to the customer. In many cases, DLA will fund all or part of the development costs, particularly if the requested item has multiple applications within DoD.
Once a proposal is accepted, non-DOD or Defense Contractors can contract directly with SRI as the GEM Program contractor. DoD and Service customers can use the MIPR process to fund effort through DLA’s existing contract vehicle.
SRI International’s cage code for GEM parts is 0DKS7.
Click here to learn more about the Emulation process.
The SRI Microcircuit Emulation Center Wafer Foundry in Princeton, New Jersey is accredited as Department of Defense (DoD) Trusted supplier and as such has the ability to manage and dedicate trusted resources for each critical area. Any additional requirements to support Trusted microcircuit fabrication, such as secure data handling, secure staff or supplemental reporting, will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine extended schedule and additional cost requirements.
We utilize Bipolar, HV CMOS, SOI, BiCMOS, and CMOS process technologies with gate sizes from 3.0 μm down to 0.35 μm, with plans to shrink further. Our technology has been engineered to span a wide range of original technologies ranging from RTL and DTL through the various TTL families, NMOS, PMOS,CMOS, etc ….
For cases where the TDP is not available, SRI has developed several techniques to recover missing technical data directly from obsolete microcircuits using electrical characterization and physical reverse engineering processes, including a sophisticated netlist extraction system to recover design data from silicon die. Known-good working sample parts are required for electrical characterization, but non-functioning parts can be used for physical reverse engineering. More information can be found on our technical data recovery/reverse engineering web pages. web pages.
A sample of the original device undergoes electrical characterization under all temperature conditions and voltages. The process is repeated with the new Emulated GEM part. This process ensures the Emulation is equivalent to the original part and meets the procurement specification.
The Emulation Programs can supply hard-coded ASIC version of devices that where originally programable devices, like PAL or FPGAs. In these cases, a programed version of the original device is required to perform electrical characterization to ensure the Emulated device is equivalent to the programed original part that is used in the system.
Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) is a certification issued by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for parts that have been manufactured in a certified technology flow that is capable of producing microcircuits of high quality and in compliance to the performance requirement of MIL-PRF-38535. Additionally, QML parts are qualified upon successful demonstration of the certified technology flow that it is capable of manufacturing “first pass” microcircuits compliant to MIL-PRF-38535 and the device specification. SRI International has demonstrated to the DLA its ability to manufacture GEM parts with our certified technology flow and mark parts as a qualified manufacturer listing (“QML” or “Q”). (Attach QML certificate link). The DLA has also certified us to be as suitable laboratory facility for test methods in compliance with MIL-STD-883, the test standard for integrated circuits.
Yes, SRI International’s quality management system is certified by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Land and Maritime in compliance with the performance specification, MIL-PRF-38535, which is used by the Department of Defense (DoD) for monolithic integrated microcircuits that operate in extreme conditions. This certification demonstrates SRI International’s ability to manufacture parts using certified technology flow and mark parts as a qualified manufacturer listing (“QML” or “Q”). The DLA has also certified us to be as suitable laboratory facility for test methods in compliance with MIL-STD-883, the test standard for integrated circuits.
SRI is the original, MIL-PRF-38535 QML-certified manufacturer of all GEM microcircuits. The devices are designed and manufactured on-shore in our Category 1A DMEA-certified Trusted Foundry in Princeton, NJ. All devices are designed and manufactured to the customer’s specification, such as Source Control Drawings (SCDs) or Standard Microcircuit Drawing (SMDs) only with the approval and authorization of DLA. All GEM devices are marked with the SRI CAGE code 0DKS7 and are sourced through the DLA GEM Program Office or directly from SRI International. Using the Emulation Programs avoids purchasing obsolete microcircuits on the gray market and eliminates the threat of counterfeit parts. Learn more here.
You can do a part number search on the GEM website or download a complete parts list. The parts list includes over 27,000 microcircuits, including parts that have been designated as “Emulation Available” or “Emulation Capability”. DLA also has a Standard Microcircuit Cross-Reference website. This search provides a cross-reference of microcircuits covered by Standard Microcircuit Drawings, MIL-M-38510 specifications and Vendor Item Drawings.
Yes, we Emulate microcircuits without an NSN as long as the required part supports the US defense industrial base. There are over 1000 GEM microcircuits listed on the DLA’s SMCR and many of those do not have NSNs. A downloadable parts list can be found here.
A summary of example part type are listed in the table on this webpage https://gemes.com/trusted-wafer-foundry/ and a comprehensive description of our capabilities and parts type listing can be found in our Technical Overview Catalog (link to catalog)
No, the GEM Program currently cannot Emulate blank programable microcircuits. However, GEM can supply a hard-coded version of the final programmed device for use in a specific customer system location.
If you are referring to potential legal infringement on intellectual property in the original design, there is no issue. We are not remanufacturing and/or re-implementing the original circuitry. Our Emulated devices are designed using an Emulation ASIC gate array methodology. Our circuitry uses common building blocks or circuit elements. We are compliant with the original specification without copying internal circuitry from the original manufacturer.
If a Customer wishes to provide proprietary IP to be included in a part to be Emulated, SRI follows conventional industry practices to fully maintain the legal and confidential rights of third parties. A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) would be executed.
We provide a prompt response to any part requests. Normally we respond within two weeks but this can be dependent on the available documentation and access to technical data. For complex devices we may require additional information, such as programming files or higher-level system documents.
As a MIL-PRF-38535 QML-certified manufacturer we are only qualified to manufacture monolithic microcircuits. We do not manufacture discretes which are covered in MIL-PRF-19500 and include devices such as capacitors, diodes, resistors and transistors.
The GEM program supports the US defense industrial base, including defense contractors and suppliers as long as the final application is in support of US defense systems. All GEM quotes are approved by DLA, the GEM program does not support commercial applications.
Our MOQ for new builds is 50 pieces, however, over the past several decades the Emulation program has maintained residual assets from previous builds, and if inventory is available we can ship parts within a few weeks.
All customer requests undergo a detailed review before quoting to ensure we have the capability to supply a Form, Fit, Function replacement for the part and in full conformance to the customer’s procurement specification requirements. If there are ambiguities in the specification, or if waivers to a particular specification are required, it is discussed with the customer and usually recommended that the customer complete insertion testing in their system prior to committing to a production order. The customer would order prototype units (typically 5-10 pcs) prior to placing an order for the production build.
Two to three working samples are preferred but if this is not available, SRI/DLA will make every attempt to locate an alternate generic configuration (i.e. different package or manufacturer). Non-working or scrap samples can also be used. Any other technical documentation (higher level drawings, repair manuals etc.…) can also be used to complement any missing information. For situations where no samples can be located, depending on design complexity, we may still be able to emulate the part but would recommend the customer complete insertion testing prior to committing to a production delivery.
The Emulation program has the capability to emulate a large range of integrated circuits popular in the 1970s to the mid 90’s.
The GEM program is a DLA production program that designs and manufactures replacement microcircuits for obsolete ICs. GEM delivers production units for DoD systems in a QML-Q certified manufacturing facility. AME is a DLA research and development (R&D) program that develops and demonstrates new design, test, manufacturing capabilities and base technologies for the GEM production program. DLA determines new AME development targets, such as digital families (FAST bipolar or FCT CMOS), or Linear functionality (High Voltage Analog), based on customer demand.
A procurement specification is the document which defines the microcircuit performance and conformance requirements. This includes electrical parameters, physical characteristics, and device quality levels (inspection and acceptance test requirements). This document is submitted through a technical review process and is mutually agreed upon prior to acceptance of a purchase order. For emulations of programmable microcircuits, a new procurement document will need to be created. Examples of procurement specifications include Standard Microcircuit Drawings (SMDs), Source Control Drawing (SCDs), and original manufacturer data sheets.
For devices such as read only memories (ROM, PROM, etc.) the contents of every memory address location is required. For programmable logic devices (PAL, PLD, FPGA, etc.) the logic function implemented in the device is required. Typically programming information will be in the form of a JEDEC file, binary file, HEX file, Boolean equations, logic schematic or Verilog/VHDL code. It may be possible to read out the contents from a programmed memory device sample if the programming information is not available. Deciphering the contents from a programmed logic function device sample may be possible in some cases.
There have been instances where a hybrid microcircuit has been emulated by the GEM program. In most cases the emulation was a monolithic implementation of the functionality and electrical performance in the same form and fit package. The GEM microcircuit would be qualified in accordance with MIL-PRF-38535 quality and screening requirements vs. MIL-PRF-38534 (hybrid). Where a monolithic solution is not possible, the Emulation team reviews alternate approaches if applicable.
If the original microcircuit had a publicly available manufacturer’s datasheet, then it would be possible to emulate to the generic device or to an equivalent Military specification which has no existing sources. A new procurement specification may be created using the manufacturer’s datasheet as a guideline. In some cases, it may be possible to acquire missing data measured from the electrical reverse engineering of the samples. The buyer would need to approve the procurement specification. System insertion testing of GEM prototypes is highly recommended in this case.