Monthly Archives: May 2018

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HDL Design House and Mentor Workshop at Aviation Electronics Europe 2018

HDL Design House, provider of digital, analog, and back-end design and verification services and products in numerous areas of SoC, will host a joint technical workshop with Mentor, a Siemens business, at the Aviation Electronics Europe conference on June 19th, 2018 at the MOC Event Center in Munich, at 4pm. The workshop presenters will be Ms. Olivera Stojanovic, Verification Project Leader at HDL DH, Mr. Ivan Ristic, Senior Verification Engineer, Mr. Jacob Wiltgen, Functional Safety Solutions Architect at Mentor, a Siemens business and Mr. Michael Bierl, Applications Engineer at Mentor, a Siemens business.

 

Reuse, a crucial part of constrained-random verification, has been widely applied in land-based commercial electronics for the last decade. The joint workshop focuses on the application of state-of-the-art verification techniques in DO-254 projects.

 

Presenters at the workshop will introduce constrained random verification, highlighting requirement traceability goals that are mandatory in safety-critical designs. The concept of verification IP will be explained, followed by an overview demonstrating how third-party reusable verification IP provides the features and ease of use to rapidly verify and certify industry-standard protocols. Thus, attendees will learn how to demonstrate that all protocol features have been exercised and the elemental analysis evidence required by the DER.

 

“The ongoing trend to add further degrees of automation in aviation systems has triggered exponential growth in IC complexity and additional challenges ensuring those devices operate without failure,” explains Wiltgen. “Mentor’s verification solutions have helped design teams worldwide develop innovative ICs in virtually every industry. These tools and techniques can also be applied by designers of aviation ICs to achieve to new levels of IC design innovation, while still adhering to required safety standards. At our workshop during Aviation Electronics Europe 2018, IC engineers will learn about the very latest techniques and technologies for addressing these critical industry challenges and trends.”

 

The workshop is taking place on Tuesday 19 June, 4pm, at the Aviation Electronics Europe, and is free to attend.

 

HDL Design House will also present a paper on the application of random verification in DO-254 projects on June 19that 2pm at the conference. For further questions, please visit the HDL Design House booth (#B36) or the Mentor demo within the Exhibitor Showcase.

 

For more information, please contact Milena Jovanovic, m-jovanovic@hdl-dh.com.

 

About HDL Design House:

 

HDL Design House delivers leading-edge digital, analog, and back-end design and verification services and products in numerous areas of SoC and complex FPGA designs. The company also develops IP cores, and component (VITAL) models for major SoC product developers. Founded in 2001 and currently employing 170 engineers working in three design centers in Serbia and Greece, HDL Design House’s mission is to deliver high quality products and services, with flexible licensing models, competitive pricing and responsible technical support. The company was awarded ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 27001:2013 certifications in December 2006 and has achieved certifications from Direct Assessment Services (DAS). HDL DH joined the ARM® Approved Design Partner program, through which leading SoC design houses are recognized by ARM as accredited partners in specific technologies and activities. For more information, please visit www.hdl-dh.com.

 

chipus

Chipus grows its battery charger IP family

Chipus has been developing battery charger circuits since 2012 and the new IP generation reuses the proven experience of the existing designs with enhanced capabilities.

 

First generation of battery charger family IP was silicon proven in 2013 in SilTerra 0.18um CMOS and it is capable of dealing with 1.5A charging current in fast charge mode. In order to extend input voltage range, the second generation  was designed in BCD technology and it is capable of dealing with up to 30V.

 

The 3rd generation of battery charger IP (CM1713ff), that is now being fabricated in SilTerra 0.18um BCD (D18V), is designed to consume down to 40 nA in OFF mode (or battery supply mode) and features a programmable output voltage to deal with different battery types. This IP also features a bi-directional power switch, allowing the battery to supply the whole system when the system voltage is lower than the battery voltage. The range of applications now encompasses IoT (Internet of Things) in which the stand-by power consumption is a key parameter.

 

Technical information about these IPs can be found in this application note.

 

“It is important to keep the pace in the development of innovative power management IPs. The market is requesting lower power solutions driven by the IoT and mobile trends. Battery lifetime is a strong concern” explains Murilo Pessatti, Chipus’ CEO.

 

Daniel Mioni, technical leader of the power management team at Chipus, added “we included an aggressive idle mode. Cutting down the power consumption to few nA was a challenge. Programmable fast charge current, battery voltage and end-of-charge current can be configured digitally by writing in a particular register. We are targeting applications that use lithium batteries with different voltages. This new feature gives a lot of flexibility for the user to configure the IP”.

 

“Concerning the next generation of battery chargers, we have been receiving requests from potential leading customers to develop these IPs in smaller nodes such as 55nm to suit applications that require big digital designs. We already have some interesting and encouraging results at the moment regarding this path”, complements Murilo.

 

Visit Chipus’ website for more information on the Battery Charger IP family here or write to ip@chipus-ip.com.

 

Highlights – Chipus Battery Chargers:

 

Chipus Microelectronics full IP Catalog can be found here for more information.

 

About Chipus

 

Chipus Microelectronics is a semiconductor company with proven expertise in the development of ultra-low-power, low-voltage, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) and systems on chip (SoCs).

 

Relying on a strong experience in power management and data converters, the company has more than 200 IP mixed-signal blocks in process nodes from 40nm to 0.35um of various foundries. Since its foundation in 2008, Chipus has provided IC design services in leading edge technologies also, including down to 28nm and 10nm, with firm commitment and flexible client support to customers worldwide (USA and Americas, Europe, and Asia).

Headquartered in Florianópolis, Brazil, Chipus has a US subsidiary in Silicon Valley and sales team in Europe.

 

Assuring quality standards, Chipus is ISO 9001:2015 certified.

For additional information on Chipus or its services, please visit: www.chipus-ip.com

View of a Businessman in front of a wall with a Processor chip and network connection - 3d render

Open-Silicon Achieves ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Open-Silicon, a system-optimized ASIC solution provider, today announced that it has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification. The internationally-recognized certification includes Open-Silicon’s design, manufacture and sales of ASICs utilizing subcontracted wafer fabrication, assembly and test services. This certification is an enhancement from Open-Silicon’s prior ISO 9001:2008 certification and underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to quality, performance and customer satisfaction.

 

The ISO 9001:2015 certification was earned following an external audit performed by SGS, an ANAB-accredited inspection, verification, testing and certification body. ISO 9001:2015 includes enhanced requirements for leadership, customer focus, and risk and opportunity management. In order to meet the ISO 9001:2015 standard, a company must demonstrate adherence to a Quality Management System (QMS) that outlines good business practices and ensures consistency in providing products and services that meet customer and applicable industry requirements.

 

“Enhancing our certification from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 demonstrates our commitment to maintaining our position as a world-class ASIC provider. The more advanced procedures associated with this certification will allow us to operate more efficiently, reach new markets, and better identify and address risks,” said Taher Madraswala, President and CEO of Open-Silicon.

 

“Open-Silicon takes great pride in meeting and exceeding customer requirements and expectations for high quality and on-time delivery of silicon,” said Asim Salim, VP of Manufacturing Operations for Open-Silicon. “This requires exhaustive planning, implementation and control of both our internal and external quality processes, which continually monitor, measure, analyze and improve our ASIC design methodology and high-volume silicon manufacturing flows.”

 

The International Organization for Standards (ISO) is the largest standards organization in the world, with a network of standards institutes from 162 countries. The ISO 9001 is a set of procedures covering all key processes within a business and ensures that these processes are efficient, effective and are monitored consistently, allowing the company to continuously improve on its processes.

 

 

About Open-Silicon

Open-Silicon is a system-optimized ASIC solution provider that innovates at every stage of design to deliver fully tested IP, silicon and platforms. To learn more, please visit www.open-silicon.com

icsense feature

CEO Talk: Bram De Muer, CEO & founder of ICsense

This interview was held with Bram De Muer, CEO and founder of ICsense in Belgium.

 

icsense feature

 

 

# Tell me about ICsense ?

 

We make microchips tailored to our customers’ need. These custom chips are also called Application Specific ICs (ASICs).  We can provide ASIC development and supply (for customers that have no internal IC design experts) and custom IC design services (for IDMs or customers with an internal IC design group). ICsense has the largest fab-independent European design group with world-class expertise in analog, digital, mixed-signal and high-voltage IC design. We develop and supply customer exclusive ASIC solutions for the automotive, medical, industrial and consumer market compliant with ISO9001, ISO13485, IEC61508-ISO26262

 

# When did you start ICsense ? What were you doing before that?

 

I founded ICsense with 3 of my classmates right after we finished our PhDs at the University of Leuven, the MICAS group. We all did research in some field of IC development like dataloggers, ADC development, RF, etc. Our combined expertise offered the right base for a IC design company. There was a strong need at that time for outsourcing IC designs. Initially we did block designs, but quickly after ICsense became known for full-chip developments. This is still what we do today, full-chip mixed-signal ASICs developments for industry, automotive, medical and consumer.

 

# What problem did you see that needed to be fixed? What is your approach to solving that? 

 

We strongly believed that sensors would become ubiquitous in the future and that they would all need a custom interface ASIC to make the link to computing. We wanted to play an active role in providing intelligent and efficient interfaces (ICs) to sense the signals. This is also where the name ICsense finds its origin. In the first years, ICsense focused on analog front-ends for its customers and as time progressed, we started doing full mixed-signal chip designs with decent digital complexity. One of the first full designs was a GMR (Giant-Magneto Resistance) interface chip for Infineon including all analog and digital signal processing. The design was a strong reference to create more business and year-by-year we became more known in the semicon industry.

 

# How was the role/offering of ICsense changed during the recent years?

 

Since its start in 2004, ICsense grew with 30% average yearly. In the early years, the focus was purely on analog and high voltage design. In 2011, we started our in-house digital design team to perform all full mixed-signal ASIC developments in-house. Today, we have the largest fab-independent mixed-signal design team in Europe with over 75 on-site designers. Since 5 years, the focus of ICsense has shifted from pure “design house” to “ASIC supplier”. ICsense offers its customers the complete suite from ASIC definition all the way down to production. For our customers, we manage the assembly, qualification and supply chain.

 

# Did any of the market consolidation (or acquisition) affected your business and how?

 

Early 2017, ICsense became part of the TDK family. We had been working already for TDK for many years to build them a family of magnetic sensing products. Within TDK we are an independent centre of excellence for custom IC design and being part of TDK enhances our existing service offering. We are backed by a strong and stable partner so ICsense’s long term stability is guaranteed. Customers are ensured ICsense will not become their competitor by a hostile take-over. TDK allows us to strongly invest in our design team and methodology and to boost our turnkey offering by expertise and hardware.

 

Our business model has not changed. The TDK management has given us the clear long-term target to have at least 50% of our revenue outside TDK. Currently we are at over 60% external revenue which shows we guarantee the necessary bandwidth for all our customers outside the TDK group. The well recognized and reputed ICsense-brand is unchanged to show ICsense’s commitment to customers outside of TDK.

 

# Which market segment seems promising to you? And why?

 

The market segments we focus on are Sensor and MEMS, power and battery management, high-voltage and low-power. We particularly see a growth in Functional Safety developments for automotive (ISO26262) and industrial (IEC61508). Several years ago we therefore invested in our design flow to become 100% compliant to functional safety developments through advanced requirements management, efficient design validation and enhanced reporting and traceability for our high-reliabilty projects.

 

# What is the best moment in your day?

 

My first coffee in the morning.

 

# How do you keep yourself energized and engaged during the day?

 

Every day brings different challenges, some expected, a lot not. Facing and solving these challenges and getting things to move forward, preferably fast, and motivating people to do the same, is what I love.

 

# What is your preferred lunch discussion topic?

 

Politics and cars.

 

# How do you spend your time outside working hours?

 

Family time, mountain biking, skiing, having a cask strength, single malt whisky from Caskaid, a non-profit independent bottler, that I started with some whisky-lovers. We look for unique, excellent whiskies, bottle them and sell them. All profit goes to charity. If you are a whisky fan: check out www.caskaid.org.

 

# Customers are focused on time-to-market, first-time-right, price, etc. Do you see a change in customer behaviour in recent years? Where is the focus today and why?

 

The customers we typically work with are looking for an innovative, high-quality and reliable product. They value the efforts that go into delivering sub-0.5 ppm mixed-signal designs. All the ASICs we have developed in the last 14 years were functional in the first run, meaning that you can use the first silicon in a demo setup and play around with it, program the device and so on. You should always calculate one extra run to come to the final silicon. We are very open and honest about setting the right expectations.

 

# What are the 3 top things you wish your customers would do better (or different)?

 

When a customer engages in an ASIC development for the first time, it is unknown territory for him/her so it’s hard to make the right vendor decision. We encourage our customers to compare different ASIC vendors thoroughly and challenge them technically. We want it to be a 2-way communication. Make a list of items that are important in your decision process and iterate with the vendors. Ask for references and call those references to see how the projects went. You will see that at a certain point, the less serious suppliers have taken shortcuts one way or the other. Better to find this out before you start the project ! ICsense can proudly say that 93% of the customers comes back for new designs within a period of 3 years. This is the result of our strong focus on quality.

 

# Are you currently hiring? What type of jobs?

 

Yes, ICsense is hiring actively today ! We have job openings in analog design, digital design and IC layout. ICsense is looking for both junior profiles as well as senior profiles such as project leaders and project managers.  Just have a look at our job section on the website www.icsense.com or send us an email if you are unsure about a certain vacancy.

 

# What is your #1 advice for people who want want to work for ICsense ?

 

One of the drivers for ICsense’s growth is our excellent company culture and attention to work-life balance. The company’s staff turnover is as low as 3% ! Although ICsense grew in size, we always focus on creating a workplace that feels like a startup. With the drive to reach common goals, and the celebration of successes along the way. For example; as employee of ICsense you will enjoy our famous “tape-out receptions”. A tradition where the project leader organizes a gathering when his chip is sent-out to the fab. We try to stay in the theme of the country of the customer. Sushi for Japan, or Oktober fest for Germany! We are actively looking to expand our analog and digital teams at this moment. My advice ? Have a look at our website and send us your CV if you see a fit. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you want more info on a job opening.

 

# Where can one find more information?

 

Our main channels for communication are the website and our linkedin page. We try to give a glimpse of the company culture on our facebook page as well. There you can spot some photos of recent activities and events within the company and you can see how our soccer and running teams are performing ! Here are the links:

 

icsense.com

facebook.com/ICsenseNV/

linkedin.com/company/icsense

 

news

T2M and Mindtree to showcase cutting-edge BQB-qualified Mesh SW and Bluetooth 5 IP at Bluetooth Asia, Shenzhen

T2M, the world’s largest independent global semiconductor technology provider today announced that, Mindtree, will be showcasing their customer proven BQB-qualified Bluetooth Mesh v1.0 software and Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 Modem, Digital Link Layer, Protocol Stack SW and Profiles IP at Bluetooth Asia 2018 on 30, 31 May at Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre, Booth #34.

 

Bluetooth Asia 2018 is the annual Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) event showcasing the latest in Bluetooth Products and Technology from around the world. It brings together thousands of developers, executives and start-ups to inspire, innovate, and educate in the exciting world of Bluetooth and IoT. Entrance to the exhibition is free, register at http://www.huodongxing.com/go/bluetoothasia-en?qd=BluetoothCOM

 

 

Bluetooth Mesh and Bluetooth Low Energy v5.0 are critical for IoT applications. Mindtree is the market leader in Bluetooth technology, delivering mature BQB-qualified customer proven Bluetooth Mesh v1.0 software and fully-featured Bluetooth Low Energy v5.0 IP, along with BLE 5.0/15.4 Dual Mode IP and Bluetooth v5.0 Dual Mode software.

 

Visit us at Booth #34 to see demonstrations of our leadership Bluetooth technology.

 

Book a meeting to discuss with our experts your Bluetooth and IoT requirements. Click here to schedule a meeting.

 

About Mindtree

Mindtree is the leading IP and Technology Services provider with 43 offices across 17 countries, with more than 15 years of expertise in Bluetooth technology development and IP licensing. Mindtree has consistently certified generations of its silicon and software IP from v1.1 to v5.0 by Bluetooth SIG. Mindtree’s Bluetooth technology is the most widely used and real world validated 3rd party Bluetooth technology, with 4 out of the top 5 microcontroller companies, as well as module makers, OEMs and ODMs having licensed Mindtree’s Bluetooth IP. Mindtree is acknowledged by the Bluetooth SIG as one of the co-creators of the Bluetooth v5.0, v4.2, v4.1, v4.0 specifications.

 

About T2M

T2M is the world’s largest independent global semiconductor technology provider, supplying complex IP, software, KGD and disruptive technologies enabling accelerated production of IoT, wireless, consumer and automotive electronics devices. Located in all key tech clusters around the world, our senior management team provides local access to leadership companies and technology. For more information, please visit www.t-2-m.com

 

 

 

Market Research

1Q-2018 Top 15 Semiconductor Sales Leaders

IC Insights will release its May Update to the 2018 McClean Report later this month.  This Update includes a discussion of the 1Q18 IC industry market results, an update of the 2018 capital spending forecast by company, and a look at the top-25 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers (the top-15 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers are covered in this research bulletin).

 

The top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q18 is shown in Figure 1.  It includes eight suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two in South Korea, and one each in Taiwan and Japan.  After announcing in early April 2018 that it had successfully moved its headquarters location from Singapore to the U.S. IC Insights now classifies Broadcom as a U.S. company.

 

The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and four fabless companies.  If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, Taiwan-based fabless supplier MediaTek ($1,696 million) would have been ranked in the 15th position.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.  With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (supplying equipment, chemicals, gases, etc.), excluding large IC manufacturers like the foundries would leave significant “holes” in the list of top semiconductor suppliers.  As shown in the listing, the foundries and fabless companies are identified.  In the April Update to The McClean Report, marketshare rankings of IC suppliers by product type were presented and foundries were excluded from these listings.

 

Overall, the top-15 list shown in Figure 1 is provided as a guideline to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries.

 

Figure 1

 

In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales surged by 26% in 1Q18 compared to 1Q17, six points higher than the total worldwide semiconductor industry 1Q18/1Q17 increase of 20%.  Amazingly, the Big 3 memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, each registered greater than 40% year-over-year growth in 1Q18. Fourteen of the top-15 companies had sales of at least $2.0 billion in 1Q18, four companies more than in 1Q17. As shown, it took just over $1.8 billion in quarterly sales just to make it into the 1Q18 top-15 semiconductor supplier list.

 

Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17 as well as in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993.  With the continuation of the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets over the past year, Samsung went from having 5% less total semiconductor sales than Intel in 1Q17 to having 23% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 1Q18!

 

It is interesting to note that memory devices represented 83% of Samsung’s semiconductor sales in 1Q18, up six points from 77% in 1Q17 and up 12 points from 71% just two years earlier in 1Q16.  Moreover, the company’s non-memory sales in 1Q18 were only $3,300 million, up 6% from 1Q17’s non-memory sales level of $3,125 million.

 

As would be expected, given the possible acquisitions and mergers that could occur this year (e.g., Qualcomm/NXP), as well as any memory market volatility that may develop, the top-15 ranking is likely to undergo a significant amount of upheaval over the next few years as the semiconductor industry continues along its path to maturity.

 

 

 

Report Details: The 2018 McClean Report
Additional details on current IC market trends are provided in the May Update  to The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry. A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 250+ page Mid-Year Update, and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year. An individual-user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.

 

 

To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website: www.icinsights.com.

 

 

More Information Contact

For more information regarding this Research Bulletin, please contact Bill McClean, President at IC Insights. Phone: +1-480-348-1133, email: bill@icinsights.com
PDF Version of This Bulletin

A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at http://www.icinsights.com/news/bulletins/