Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Picochip achieves first silicon success for 40-nm picoXcel femtocell chip using Synopsys' Lynx design system

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Synopsys Inc. announced that Picochip Ltd, who recently signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Mindspeed Technologies Inc., has successfully achieved first silicon success using Synopsys' Lynx Design System and Galaxy Implementation Platform in the design of its next-generation 40-nm PC3008 picoXcell femtocell chip optimized for high-volume, cost-sensitive consumer applications.

The Lynx Design System enabled Picochip's engineering team to quickly and efficiently upgrade to a pre-tested 40-nm Galaxy-based production design flow, saving significant time and effort compared to developing their own flow. In addition, Lynx's Foundry-Ready System enabled Picochip's engineers to begin design work within two weeks of initial deployment, accelerating their project start date by an estimated eight weeks.

"In the mobile communications market, each product generation requires higher performance and functionality at a lower cost. For Picochip to deliver this, it is essential that we are able to migrate process technololgies quickly and easily," said Will Robbins, VP of silicon at Picochip. "Synopsys' Lynx gave us a robust Galaxy-based RTL-to-GDSII design flow, which we could configure to our specific technology needs. This gave us a head start over simply having a set of tools with which to build a design flow. It allowed us to tape out our first 40-nanometer chip, whilst saving us months of R&D effort."

Picochip is a leader in developing system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for the mobile communications infrastructure market, with an award-winning portfolio of cost- and performance-optimized silicon devices that change the way mobile networks are architectured. The PC3008 is the first in a family of devices that support the HSPA+ wireless broadband standard, delivering a low bill of material cost silicon device. It supports eight users with Release 9 HSPA+ (21Mbps downlink, 5Mbps uplink), incorporating Picochip's field-proven robust PHY and a 1GHz ARM11 processor with TrustZone.

The Lynx Design System is a complete chip design environment that includes a production-proven design flow enabled by Galaxy tools with innovative visualization capabilities to help create and track designs throughout the implementation cycle.

Picochip adopted Lynx to mitigate the cost and risk of creating and maintaining a new production flow for its first 40-nm design and to meet an aggressive project schedule. Using Lynx, Picochip's engineers were able to immediately focus on optimizing the new design to meet both their 1GHz performance target and aggressive development cycle.

"The Lynx Design System offers tangible benefits for design teams looking to reduce the cost and risk of migrating to new technology processes," said John Koeter, VP of marketing for IP and systems at Synopsys. "By enabling designers to implement chips more efficiently without sacrificing quality of results, and attacking total cost of design through systematic design flow management, leading design companies like Picochip are able to focus on what they do best – delivering differentiated design solutions in a competitive marketplace."

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