Archive for March 6, 2013

Unlocking full potential of soft IP

SoC design challenges and needs are diverse. There are many diverse IP blocks. It is time consuming to verify. Picking correct IP is critically important.

Speaking on the TSMC Soft IP Alliance program, Dan Kochpatcharin, deputy director, TSMC said that IP sourcing priorities include is it available, Is it from trusted partners, how is the design quality, and what are the specs and cost? Some other points to note are: is an IP verified, has it been silicon proven, what has been tested and how many in production volume already?

TSMC Soft IP Alliance program.

TSMC Soft IP Alliance program.

TSMC Soft IP Alliance has 5000+ IP titles from 40+ IP vendors. The IP Alliance program has been expanding. It is leveraging on successful IP. More and more customers are concerned about PPA data of soft IP specific technology when doing system design.

The Soft IP Alliance has 16 members. The Soft-IP quality assessment TSMC 9000 is key. New soft-IP handoff kit were rolled out in Nov. 2012. Major partners have now joined to drive soft-IP quality, such as Imagination, Sonics, MIPS, etc.

TSMC Soft-IP 9000 has carried out industry first QA assessment system for RTL based IP. TSMC and IP partners co-optimize RTL/process to deliver PPA optimized IPs.

Mike Gianfagna, Atrenta, spoke on the implementing program with Atrenta IP kit. Atrenta’s SpyGlass is a systematic approach to soft IP quality.

If you look at what’s needed for IP assessment, there are factors such as right abstraction levels must be supported, and soft IP is delivered as generators, RTL or gates; the biggest need is here. The IP must be comprehensive, easy to use, objective and quantifiable, actionable, and dynamic and scalable. Atrenta and TSMC announced SpyGlass IP kit 2.0 in October 2012

What does the IP kit check? Many items that would impact the integration/debug time and chip function were found and fixed. Soft IP qualification can be automated. It results in higher quality deliverables. All soft IP can be improved. Primary beneficiaries are chip integrators.

John Bainbridge, Sonics, spoke on the practical results of program participation. Sonics is a leader in system IP for SoCs. It enables designers to integrate any IP from anywhere, anytime.

Sonics helps leading SoC vendors solve some of the most difficult challenges in SoC design. These can be IP integration, high frequency, memory throughput, security, physical design, power management, development costs, and time-to-market. Sonics is a lead beta partner for TSMC Soft IP 2.0 kit program. It has worked closely with Atrenta and TSMC to ensure a seamless design flow.

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