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TSMC to speed system-to-IC design cycles

June 08, 2010 | Jean-Pierre Joosting | 222900799
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has extended its Open Innovation Platform with another focus on system-level design, analog/mixed-signal (AMS)/RF design and two-dimensional/three-dimensional integrated circuit (2-D/3-D IC) implementation.
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These initiatives comprise the Radio Frequency Reference Design Kit (RF RDK) as an outgrowth of an extended Open Innovation Platform and the soon to be available Analog/Mixed-Signal (AMS) Reference Flow 1.0, and Reference Flow 11.0.

Radio Frequency Reference Design Kit (RF RDK) 2.0 targets TSMCs 65-nm RF CMOS process technology, accelerating analog, mixed-signal, and RF designs and RF System-on-Chip (SoC) verification and integration. It resolves the long-standing challenge of performing full chip verification on SoC devices that support analog, RF, mixed signal and digital content.

These design kits implement a top-down RF design methodology and a system-level simulation flow that reduces design cycle time and encourages IP reuse. The RF RDK 2.0 is in Open Access database that supports new RF design capabilities including a circuit sizing and design centering approach, electromagnetic (EM)-aware RF simulation and analysis, custom RF inductor synthesis and modeling, and substrate noise modeling and analysis (SNA) to address the noise coupling challenges in complex mixed-signal and RF SoCs.

TSMC originally launched the Open Innovation Platform in 2008 as an industry-wide design enablement initiative. To date, the Open Innovation platform has accelerated time-to-market, improved return on design investment and reduced design infrastructure duplication. It includes a set of interoperable ecosystem interfaces, collaborative components and design flows that efficiently empower innovation throughout the supply chain thereby enabling creation and sharing of newly-created revenue and profitability. For example, iPDK, iDRC, iLVS, iRCX, Digital Reference Flow, Integrated Signoff Flow and RF Reference Design Kit are all in production use today.

The Open Innovation Platform will extend beyond power, performance and area considerations (PPA) and interoperability initiatives to feature new collaborative ecosystem programs that focus on electronic-system level (ESL) design, virtual platforms and high-level synthesis (HLS). Other new programs will address 65-nm, 40-nm and 28-nm analog, mixed-signal and RF design methodologies while a third direction tackles multi-die packaging through 2-D/3-D IC design methodology, innovative silicon interposer and through silicon via (TSV) manufacturing capabilities.

The Open Innovation Platforms Alliance programs collaborate with EDA, IP, software IP, systems software and design services partners. The objectives are to deliver accelerated system-level design, reduced system design cost, a faster system-to-IC implementation design cycle, and faster time-to-market.

The Open Innovation Platforms global Ecosystem Alliance programs have grown to include 30 EDA partners, 38 IP partners, 23 Design Center Alliance (DCA) partners, and 9 Value Chain Aggregator (VCA) partners. All partners participate in one or more of the Open Innovation Platform collaboration programs. TSMC also begins to work collaboratively with industry organisations, such as IPL Alliance and Si2, to promote the interoperability standards based on TSMC interoperable EDA formats.

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