Monthly Archives: August 2017


Kilopass Anti-Fuse NVM OTP IP Designed into Tire Pressure Sensor SoC Manufactured on TSMC 55LP Process Node Now Shipping in High Volume

Kilopass Technology Inc., the leading provider of semiconductor logic anti-fuse one-time programmable (OTP) non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP), today announced that its high capacity OTP NVM is designed into a tire pressure sensor (TPS) system on chip (SoC) that will be shipping in high volume. The chip is being manufactured on the TSMC 55LP (low power) nm process node. Meeting the standards defined by Automotive Electronic Council AEC-Q100, the Kilopass OTP NVM provides program code storage for the TPS that is expected to increase demand as new applications beyond automotive adopt the technology.


“The tire pressure sensor is one of a number of automotive designs that have adopted Kilopass’ anti-fuse OTP NVM that will soon begin shipping in high volume,” said Linh Hong, Vice President and General Manager of OTP Division at Kilopass Technology Inc. “For this application Kilopass IP brings an enhanced level of security against the type of well-known tampering cases where hackers took control of an automobile’s electronics by gaining access through the TPS. The Kilopass memory is highly resistant to passive attacks that read the electro-magnetic signature of a circuit. The memory content is also nearly invisible to physical probing using scanning electron microscope techniques.”


Pressure Sensors Applications
The pressure sensor market is expected to be worth $9.48 Billion by 2020 according to the MarketsandMarkets report “Pressure Sensor Market – Global Forecast to 2020.” The research firm stated, “The demand for pressure sensors is expected to increase in the automotive industry owing to their growing usage in oil pressure monitoring, fuel pressure monitoring, nitrous pressure monitoring, transmission pressure monitoring, and tire pressure monitoring. Additionally, pressure sensors are also used in the airbag systems of vehicles.”


The report declared, “governments all over the world are mandating various acts to ensure safety of passengers in their automobiles. For instance, the TREAD Act in the U.S. has made installation of TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) mandatory in all types of vehicles to warn drivers about tire under-inflation within 20 minutes of its detection. Similarly, on November 1, 2012, the European Union issued instructions that all new passenger car models must be equipped with TPMS. These safety regulations have provided an impetus to the growth of the global pressure sensor market.”


Kilopass NVM OTP IP for Automotive Market
Kilopass products are going through the required flows and processes to achieve compliance with the three major automotive standards:


  • Total Quality Management as per ISO/TS 16949
  • Functional Safety requirements as per ASIL (Automotive Safety Integrity Level) defined in ISO 26262
  • Product Reliability as per the Automotive Electronic Council AEC-Q100.


About Kilopass
Kilopass Technology, Inc. is a leading supplier of embedded NVM intellectual property using qstandard logic CMOS processes to deliver one-time programmable (OTP) and few-time programmable (FTP) memory. With more than 60 patents granted or pending and more than 3 million wafers shipped from a dozen foundries and Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs), Kilopass has 150 customers in applications ranging from storage of firmware and security codes to calibration data and other application-critical information. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information, visit or email


Please see here Kilopass Technology’s profile page on

Many old CPU chips and obsolete computer processors as background

Faraday Launches Its New FPGA to ASIC Turnkey Service

Faraday Technology Corporation (TWSE: 3035), a leading ASIC design service and IP provider, today announced its turnkey FPGA to ASIC conversion service. This service was introduced to meet increasing demand from customers who require a lower BOM cost, lower power consumption, higher integration for miniaturization, and long-term supply commitments, and as a means to respond to FPGA end-of-life events.


Faraday has successfully implemented many FPGA conversion projects with great results. Applications include industrial motor control, water meters, digital billboards, POS terminals, and portable medical devices, each case delivering more competitive performance at dramatically reduced cost.


In addition to more than two decades of ASIC and SoC integration experience, Faraday possesses over 3000 self-developed IP and IP subsystems to support FPGA IP replacement or customization within the FPGA to ASIC conversion process. Moreover, Faraday created an IP function specifically targeted at enabling FPGA conversion dubbed the “MPS” (Micro-Program Sequencing), a control engine IP used to customize a FPGA design or multiple chips/components into a single ASIC or SoC, while maintaining original design fidelity, quickly and efficiently. Such conversion from multiple FPGA chips to a single ASIC device enables lower system BOM cost.


“We see the ASIC cost-parity threshold often being over-estimated as foundry technology advances. Customers often under-estimate the life-time usage quantity of FPGA in their products, resulting in high costs over the long run,” said Flash Lin, COO of Faraday Technology. “Faraday is confident that our proven FPGA to ASIC conversion service will serve as an effective alternative to FPGA users demanding better system performance, lower cost, and stable supply that Faraday provides all of our customers ”, he added.



Press Contact:
Evan Ke
886.3.5787888 ext. 8689

Direction uncertainty with a landscape of confused tangled roads and highways and a group of traffic signs competing for influence as a symbol of the challenges of planning a strategy for success.

Why The Time is Right for Open Source Hardware and ‘Chips as a Service’

The open source software movement has been credited as a key driver of the birth of the Internet Age. Without developments such as Linux; the free Apache Web-server platform; and tools such as Java, Perl and Ruby, the Web as we know it would likely not have been possible.


Applying open source principles to hardware to develop new, disruptive systems isn’t a new concept. Garage hobbyists have long been reverse-engineering boards and devices for their home-grown projects. One of the most successful examples can be found in the popular Arduino development board, which helped popularize and power groups like the Maker Movement. The Maker Movement, as defined by Adweek, is


the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. A convergence of computer hackers and traditional artisans, the niche is established enough to have its own magazine, Make, as well as hands-on Maker Faires that are catnip for DIYers who used to toil in solitude. Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology like 3-D printers. The creations, born in cluttered local workshops and bedroom offices, stir the imaginations of consumers numbed by generic, mass-produced, made-in–China merchandise.


It’s a very inspiring movement, and I speak from personal experience as you know. In my previous position as the Vice President of Marketing at Atmel Corp, we leveraged the energy and passion of the Makers to fuel growth in the long tail of the company’s business–a tactic that proved to be rather successful (if I may say so). In fact, the community we managed to attract was so large, it resulted in Atmel content to be shared more than the content from 39 semiconductor companies combined. The open source community and philosophy is a great foundation for business, and exactly the reason I joined SiFive as an advisor, and CMO. Let me try and explain that.


“We”, in commercial hardware, face a hurdle the software world does not. Where software, once developed, is essentially “free” to distribute, there remains an inherent cost in producing silicon and boards, even when designed by the crowd. The expense and difficulty in producing hardware has historically made this the realm of the largest companies. This has led to a logjam in some corners of the semiconductor world, where only the largest system designers can get the attention of the shrinking number of chipmakers able to produce the custom silicon needed for new devices. As a matter of fact, when I worked for Philips Semiconductors, back in the early 2000’s, building an SoC (system on a chip) required hundreds of millions of dollars, years of continuous work, and a large corporate research institute…now, it can be done by a team of people small enough to split one large pizza, combined with the power of the open source community.


A growing number of companies are looking to change this dynamic through open source silicon. While there are still costs associated with the physical production of the chips, the ability to leverage existing open source assets not only reduces the cost of entry dramatically, but also enables groups previously locked out of the development cycle due to budget, knowledge or location. Open source hardware has the ability to put the crowdfunded project from two engineering students in Nairobi on an equal playing field with a Silicon Valley startup or Skunkworks project at a Fortune 500 company.


The Internet of Things seems like a natural first market for custom silicon: most people agree this category will be responsible for the next wave of innovation and growth in the technology industry, but the diversity of IoT devices could be staggering. In fact, Gartner forecasts that by 2017, 50 percent of innovation in IoT solutions will emerge from startups less than 3 years old. We can try to imagine how this innovation will affect businesses in the coming years, but with new solutions addressing our needs so regularly, realistically we can’t conceive what the IoT will disrupt in the next years.


The functionality and price points of beacons, sensors and other non-consumer connected devices will require low-cost, custom open source silicon.


You might think it is still early days for open source chips. However, the market seems ripe to explore non-traditional options to enable continued innovation. I think, judging from experience with similar dynamics in my past assignments, that this development will go way faster than people can imagine. This morning, EETimes also listed SiFive in the list of 2016’s Emerging Companies to Watch. Please watch this space since “Alternatives Really Matter” and SiFive is exactly that alternative.


This is a guest post by SiFive.


Cambricon employs Moortec’s embedded PVT Monitoring Subsystem IP to their Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning Chips

Moortec, providers of complete In-Chip Monitoring PVT Subsystems today announced that Cambricon have used Moortec’s 16FFC In-Chip Monitoring Subsystem IP in their artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning chips.


“After a comprehensive investigation on almost all commercial solutions, we concluded that the PVT sensors from Moortec were the best IP solutions that can meet our chip requirements.” said Dr. Daofu Liu, Vice Predent at Cambricon. “The Moortec PVT sensors were easy for integration and have been silicon-proven in many projects, which allows us to reduce time-to-market and project risk. Besides, the technical support from Moortec was also very prompt and effective”


Stephen Crosher, CEO of Moortec, adds “We are excited to be supporting Cambricon as a major innovator in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning with our best-in-class embedded monitoring solutions”


About Cambricon

Cambricon is a startup company focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Cambricon products can be applied to mobile phones, surveillance cameras, high performance servers, and other systems. Enabling neural network processing efficiency and capacity improvements, Cambricon technology drastically improves the processing of deep learning algorithms for all end markets and devices.


For more information visit the company’s website:


About Moortec Semiconductor

Established in 2005 Moortec provides compelling embedded sub-system IP solutions for Process, Voltage & Temperature (PVT) monitoring, targeting advanced node CMOS technologies from 40nm down to 7nm. Moortec’s in-chip sensing solutions support the semiconductor design community’s demands for increased device reliability and enhanced performance optimization, enabling schemes such as DVFS, AVS and power management control systems. Moortec also provides excellent support for IP application, integration and device test during production.


For more information please contact Ramsay Allen, +44 1752 875133, visit


Moortec announce their Embedded In-Chip Monitoring Subsystem on TSMC 7FF

Moortec Semiconductor, specialists in embedded in-chip sensing, are pleased to announce the availability of their easy to integrate, embedded monitoring subsystem on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET (FF) process.


Within the subsystem the new 7nm Temperature Sensor is a high precision low power junction temperature sensor that has been developed to be embedded into ASIC designs. It can be used for a number of different applications including Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS), device lifetime enhancement, device characterisation and thermal profiling.


In addition, the new 7nm Process Monitor provides the means for advanced node Integrated Circuit (IC) developers to detect the process variation of 7nm core digital MOS devices. The Process Monitor can be used to enable continuous DVFS optimisation systems, monitor manufacturing variability across chip, gate delay measurements, critical path analysis, critical voltage analysis and also monitor silicon ‘ageing’.


The subsystem also includes the sophisticated Process, Voltage and Temperature (PVT) Controller with AMBA APB interfacing, which supports multiple monitor instances, statistics gathering, a production test access port as well as other compelling features.


Moortec’s PVT monitoring IP is designed to optimise performance in today’s cutting-edge technologies, solving the problems that come about through scaling of devices. Applications include Datacentre & Enterprise, Automotive, Mobile, IoT, Consumer and Telecommunications.


In-chip monitoring has become a vital factor in the design and performance optimisation of small-geometry designs. Since 2010 Moortec have brought to market a highly featured embedded PVT sensing fabric for use in-chip within advanced node CMOS technologies from 40nm down to 7nm.


Alongside the IP offering, Moortec provide expertise on macro placement, production result analysis and support and guidance on how to implement DVFS/AVS optimisation schemes and reliability schemes. As a big growth area for advanced technology design, Moortec are able to help our customers understand more about architecting and implementing such schemes. Being the only PVT dedicated IP vendor, Moortec are considered a centre-point for such expertise.


“A key aspect to addressing giga-scale issues today is that optimisation can be applied to each and every device, either during production or when devices are ‘in-the-field’. Moortec believes that the strategies adopted by IC designers moving forward will be heavily influenced by the analysis of data harvested from in-chip monitors during the life time of every device,” said Stephen Crosher, CEO of Moortec.


“The industry is required to face challenges posed by Moore’s Law. Our technology gives confidence to the IC design community and the tools needed to view conditions in-chip, not just generally but per device and within regions of a device to optimise for power, speed or reliability, dependant on the customer application. Moortec plan to be at the forefront of this emerging and exciting sector of the semiconductor industry which is evolving at a rapid pace.”



About Moortec
Established in 2005, Moortec provide in-chip monitors and sensors, such as embedded Process Monitors (P), Voltage Monitors (V) and Temperature Sensors (T). Moortec’s PVT monitoring IP products enhance the performance and reliability of today’s Integrated Circuit (silicon chip) designs. Having a track record of delivery to tier-1 semiconductor and product companies, Moortec provide a quick and efficient path to market for customer products and innovations.


For more information please visit


Contact: Ramsay Allen, +44 1752 875133,


Sondrel Announces £10M Investment in European Semiconductor Sector

Sondrel today announced its target to hire 100 electronic engineers in Europe, amounting to an investment of ten million pounds into the semiconductor sector over the next 3 years.


This comes swiftly on the heels of the acquisition of the IMGWorks team from Imagination Technologies; a move that increased the engineering headcount of the company to over 250 in July of this year.


Sondrel CEO, Graham Curren explained, ‘The company continues to grow rapidly and the increase in the company headcount has been accelerated by the recent acquisition of IMGWorks. We have committed to invest an additional £10M in our engineering resources over the next three years, confident in the visibility of opportunities we see emerging for new technology solutions from both existing clients and new prospects who are speaking to us.


He continued, ‘The increase in our headcount will allow us to move forward with opportunities that historically we have not had the bandwidth to take on, either due to the larger number of engineering resources required, or the engineering scope needed to fulfill all of the client’s requirements.’




The rapid growth of the company in recent years has resulted in the opening of new design centres in the UK, China and Morocco. The acquisition of IMGWorks has meant that new office locations in the UK and India have been added – bringing the design centre number up to eight.


The driver behind this expansion has been Sondrel’s commitment to work in partnership with clients and suppliers based on shared objectives, for the mutual benefit of all parties. These objectives include strengthening its engineering scope across the SoC execution process and investing in the necessary support infrastructure to administer and manage its engineering resources efficiently and effectively.



Gilly Farrell

0044 (0)118 983 8550



Success through Partnership is the philosophy of Sondrel, one of the world’s leading system-to-silicon IC consultancies. For Sondrel, Partnership means sharing the responsibility to get a project done for the mutual benefit of all parties – customer, design house, foundries and tools & IP providers. Established in 2002, Sondrel has the largest and most experienced consulting team in Europe, with wide ranging expertise across all aspects of the design flow and all industry-standard EDA tool suits. The company’s capabilities cover the entire IC design spectrum from concept to validated silicon. Sondrel is experienced in highly-complex digital, mixed signal, low power and wireless designs having completed over 300 designs at a range of process geometries down to 14nm, all of which were delivered right first time. With offices in EMEA and China Sondrel provides flexible services and methodology consulting to many of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, enabling them to improve chip performance and reduce timescales and costs.