A manager's overview of how to use bipolar integrated circuits (ICs) for a custom approach to an automotive system application. After selecting the IC technology and establishing the application specifications, the project will follow a basic development cycle. The schedule of events that take place are basic to all custom bipolar ICs for automotive applications. The cycle starts with selection of semiconductor supplier and ends with a reliable, cost effective, custom bipolar IC in production - several months later. Reaching a successful conclusion requires considerable positive interaction between system manager and semiconductor supplier.