Monthly Archives: January 2019

HDL Design House Webinar: Reducing Integration and Verification Effort in SoC Design

Belgrade, Serbia – January 15th, 2019 – HDL Design House, provider of digital, analog, and back-end design and verification services and products in numerous areas of SoC, will host a webinar with Arm on SoC design and verification best practices for accelerated time-to-market on January, 29th, 2019. The webinar will be presented by Mike Eftimakis, senior IoT product manager, Arm and Vojislav Krvavac, digital design engineer, HDL Design House.

 

 

With increased complexity of designing secure SoC, along with growing challenges in integration and verification stages, managing SoC design efficiently has become a crucial component for successful tape-out. The latest trends and developments in the semiconductor industry demand advanced and integrated solutions to meet aggressive schedules without compromising quality.

 

The webinar will address the above requirements, providing the attendees answers on how to reduce design and integration effort, lower design risk and accelerate time-to-market. The webinar presenters will also illustrate real life example of overcoming challenges and achieving customer requirements quickly and efficiently. Finally, the reasons why security should be a cornerstone of SoC design and how to reduce time-to-security will be given.

 

This online event is intended for engineering directors, design and verification managers and engineers needing to optimize SoC development activities for schedule, budgets and technical excellence.

 

The webinar is taking place on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, at 9am and 5pm GMT and is free to attend.  Joining instructions are available on the webinar registration page.

Semiconductor Leaders’ Marketshares Surge Over the Past 10 Years

IC Insights is in the process of completing its forecast and analysis of the IC industry and will present its new findings in The McClean Report 2019, which will be published later this month.  Among the semiconductor industry data included in the new 400+ page report is an analysis of the top-50 semiconductor suppliers.

 

Research included in the new McClean Report shows that the world’s leading semiconductor suppliers significantly increased their marketshare over the past decade.  The top 5 semiconductor suppliers accounted for 47% of the world’s semiconductor sales in 2018, an increase of 14 percentage points from 10 years earlier (Figure 1).  In total, the 2018 top 50 suppliers represented 89% of the total $514.0 billion worldwide semiconductor market last year, up seven percentage points from the 82% share the top 50 companies held in 2008.

 

As shown, the top 5, top 10, and top 25 companies’ share of the 2018 worldwide semiconductor market increased 14, 15, and 11 percentage points, respectively, as compared to 10 years earlier in 2008.  With additional mergers and acquisitions expected over the next few years, IC Insights believes that the consolidation could raise the shares of the top suppliers to even loftier levels.

 

There was a wide 66-percentage point range of year-over-year growth rates among the top 50 semiconductor suppliers last year, from +56% for Nanya to -10% for Fujitsu.  Nanya rode a surge of demand for its DRAM devices to post its great full-year results.  However, evidence of a cool down in the memory market last year was evident in the company’s quarterly sales results, which saw its sales drop from $826 million in 2Q18 to $550 million in 4Q18 (a 33% plunge).  Overall, four of the top seven growth companies last year—Nanya, SK Hynix, Micron, and Samsung—were major memory suppliers.  Although Nanya registered the highest percentage increase, Samsung had the largest dollar volume semiconductor sales increase, a whopping one-year jump of $17.0 billion!

 

In total, only nine of the top 50 companies registered better growth as compared to the 2018 worldwide semiconductor market increase of 16%, with five companies logging increases of ≥30%.  In contrast, only three of the top 50 semiconductor companies logged a decline in sales last year, with Fujitsu being the only company to register a double-digit sales drop.

 

 

Figure 1

 

Report Details:  The 2019 McClean Report
Rankings of the top 50 semiconductor suppliers, as well as the top 50 fabless IC suppliers, are included in the 2019 edition of The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry, which will be released in January 2019. A subscription to The McClean Report includes freemonthly updates from March through November (including a 200+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual user license to the 2019 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,990 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,990.

 

As part of your 2019 subscription, you are entitled to free attendance at a McClean Report half-day seminar (one seat for each copy purchased; company-wide licensees receive five free seats).  The schedule for this year’s McClean Report seminar tour is shown below.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 — Scottsdale, Arizona
Thursday, January 24, 2019 — Sunnyvale, California
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 — Boston, Massachusetts

 

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/

 

An Introduction to BGA Package

With the levels of integration rising to unprecedented levels and the requirement of integrated circuits with a high number gate and pins increased day by day, there was a need to manufacture a package that would be convenient to use, would be will reliable and robust, would pose higher pin count, improved performance while simultaneously reducing package size and thickness — that is when BGA technology came into the picture.

 

Figure 1 – BGA Package: top, bottom and side views (courtesy: Amkor Technology)

 

What is a BGA Package

 

BGA , or Ball Grid Array, is a kind of a surface mount package which is used in electronic products to mount integrated circuits such as microprocessors, FPGAs, WiFi chips etc. The pins are in the form of solder balls that are arranged in a grid like pattern on the undersurface of the package to increase the area used for the connections rather than just the periphery.

 

Figure 2: BGA package vs PGA package

 

BGA has evolved from the PGA package. In a PGA or Pin Grid Array, you would see an array of pins arranged in a grid of one, two or more rows and are used to connect the chip to the printed circuit board so that electrical signals may be conducted between them through the pins. In a BGA, however, these pins are replaced with a number of solder balls (surface mount technology or SMT) attached to the undersurface of the package with the help of pads and flux through a very precise automated process.

 

BGA Internal Construction

 

There are 2 types of methods used today to connect the silicon die to the substrate: Wirebond and FlipChip. A wireboned BGA package uses wires to connect the silicon die to the substrate. A flipchiped package utilizes bumps as shown in the following figure.

 

Figure 3: Flip Chip BGA internal construction

 

The substrate is a small PCB with traces designed specifically for your package. The substrate is used for connecting the bumps to the solder balls and consists of several layers to meet the design complexity. The substrate material needs is selected to meet the signal integrity requirements, for example for RF signals a special material should be used to ensure the substrate does not reduce the signal quality.

 

 

BGA Package Advantages

 

There are a multitude reasons why Ball Grid Array packages are increasingly being preferred in various applications, some of which are detailed below:

 

 

Higher pin density

 

In order to improve performance/features/price, we saw that manufacturers would increase the number of pins on a package but compromise on the quality as the pins would be placed too close together and the soldering joints would come out to be weak and unreliable in the process. With BGA packages, we obtain hundreds of pins on a single package without compromising on the quality of the soldering or the reliability of the package.

 

Lower inductance

 

Since the connecting conductors are short in length as compared to longer wires, it lowers the inductance of the signals which improves their electrical performance as lowering inductance.

 

Better heat conduction

 

Again, the decreased distance and inductance between the BGA package and the circuit board makes for lower thermal resistance between the two components which allows smoother and better flow and conduction of heat through the board. In addition to that – a very good lid to dissipate the heat directly from the die. This significantly reduces chip overheating and thermal damage events.

 

Increased performance

 

All of these factors ultimately result in a much better electrical performance by the Ball Grid Array as compared to other IC packaging technologies. Utilizing bumping technology with a suitable substrate material gives it superior performance at high speed.

 

BGA Package Disadvantages

 

Difficult inspection

 

While the soldering helps improve the performance of the package and the circuit as a whole, it does not come without its disadvantages, with the main issue being the inability to inspect the package once it has been soldered onto the circuit board. As such, it can be difficult to identify any potential faults and fix them since you cannot view the surface like you would be able to with a PGA package. To counter this package density, the likes of X-rays and CT scanning are used to inspect for any aberrations in the circuit or the connections, although the process may prove to be expensive.

 

Somewhat expensive

 

While there may be some IC package solutions out there that may cost you less, using BGA packages are  relatively expensive. The bumping process and the substrate are cost adders compared to, for instance, a QFN package.

 

 

The Future of BGA Package

 

There is no doubt that BGA package type will be used for a long time. However, a few technology advancements have made it possible to develop more advanced types of BGA package which are cheaper and provide better electrical performance. The main two types are:

 

WLCSP – Wafer Level Chip Scale Package is essentially a bumped die. Read more about WLCSP here.

eWLB – embedded Wafer Level BGA is a bumped die with an interposer. Read more about eWLB here.

Faraday Unveils ASIC Success in Factory Automation

Faraday Technology Corporation (TWSE: 3035), a leading ASIC design service and IP provider, today announced that it has won and delivered several factory automation (FA) related ASIC projects, supporting real-time Ethernet, EtherCAT, Profibus, and PLC controllers. In each case, Faraday employs its value-added ASIC and IP customization service for power-performance optimization and product lifecycle management to meet factory automation needs within Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) scenarios. 

 

Since 2003, Faraday has provided customized hardware interfaces and IP designs to fulfill system bus expendability, low latency, and data accuracy, required by industrial computer peripherals and factory automation systems. For instance, Faraday’s customized Ethernet PHY can support high data transmission accuracy in 120-meter long cable, with an accuracy rate superior to the industry standard. In addition, these chips take advantage of Faraday’s comprehensive ASIC service from design to manufacturing, along with contractual 20-year project database retention agreements and long product lifecycle support guarantees, tailor-made for industrial quality and stability requirements.

 

“Faraday’s proven factory automation related ASICs meet the highest levels of compliance with industry standards, synchronizing real-time clocks with nanosecond accuracy to support leading industrial control systems,” said Flash Lin, Chief Operating Officer of Faraday. “The device-to-device communication accuracy is a key factor in the success of these projects, enabling high-speed inspection, motion position and velocity control in the smart factory arena. Leveraging our innovative ASIC expertise, we continue to work with our customers to support the growing demand for high-performance factory automation solutions, now and in the future.”

 

 

Press Contact
Evan Ke
886.3.5787888 ext. 88689
evan@faraday-tech.com

VeriSilicon’s Artificial Intelligence Processor IP Used in Next-Generation Large Screen Smart Home System-on-Chip (SoC)

VeriSilicon today announced that industry leader Broadcom Inc. has selected its Vivante VIP8000/VIPNano family of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Processor IP for use in their next generation Set-top Box system-on-chip (SoC). With full scalability from extremely low power sub TOPS to high performance exceeding 100 TOPS, Vivante VIP8000/VIPNano IP has been powering next-generation intelligent devices across multiple market segments such as smart home, surveillance camera, automotive ADAS applications and Edge Server. Vivante VIP processor’s OCL/OVX programmable architecture enable fast adoption of new neural networks.

 

This announcement coincides with CES 2019, where new devices on display throughout the show will feature VeriSilicon’s market-leading technology, including Broadcom’s introduction of intelligent set-top box (STB) solutions incorporating Vivante VIP8000/VIPNano AI IP.

 

“We believe that incorporating AI capabilities enables our set-top box solutions to support the advanced services that consumers expect when interacting with their entertainment devices,” said Rich Nelson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Set-Top Box and Cable Modem Division at Broadcom. “We expect the rapidly developing usages of AI to continue to position our solutions at the center of the consumer’s entertainment experience. Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to customers to evolve our solutions while continuing to support the delivery of high-quality content.”

 

“We are extremely delighted that Broadcom chose VeriSilicon’s Vivante VIP8000/VIPNano family of Artificial Intelligence Processor IP for their set-top box product family. We’ve already deployed both Android and Linux-based AI supporting Google’s TensorFlow and TensorFlow-Light in addition to the common neural network frameworks,” said Weijin Dai, Executive Vice President and GM of Intellectual Property Division at VeriSilicon. “We see great momentum in applying AI to a wide range of devices in multiple market segments. With our production-proven AI IP products and widely deployed SDK ECO system, we are helping our customers rapidly bring AI-enabled devices to the market. Close collaboration with industry leaders like Broadcom will further drive our AI Vision, AI Voice and AI Pixel technology to new heights and to expand our ECO system.”

 

“VeriSilicon has been investing heavily in AI technology development and working closely with industry leaders to integrate AI capabilities in end products to deliver the AI benefits. We are excited to work with Broadcom in smart home and set-top-box products,” said Dr. Wayne Dai, President and CEO at VeriSilicon.

 

About VeriSilicon

 

VeriSilicon is a Silicon Platform as a Service (SiPaaS®) company that provides world class SoC and SiP solutions and is also a leading IP provider with the most comprehensive suite of silicon-proven IP to address diverse markets including mobile internet devices, datacenters, the Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, industrial, and medical electronics.

 

Our turnkey service takes from concept to a completed, tested and packaged chip in record time as performance effective and cost-efficient service for customers including both emerging and established companies, OEMs, ODMs, and large internet/cloud platform companies.

 

VeriSilicon’s Vivante® comprehensive scalable intelligent pixel processing IPs from camera-in to display-out solutions include ISP, NPU, GPU and GPGPU, Hantro® video codec, and display controller, which deliver highly differentiated PPA and QOR on the devices, at the edge, and in the cloud. VeriSilicon’s scalable ZSP® based solutions are widely applied in HD audio/voice applications and BLE5.0, Wi-Fi, and NB-IoT connectivity applications.

 

Founded in 2001 and head-quartered in Shanghai, China, VeriSilicon has over 700 employees with 5 R&D centers in US and in China and 10 sales offices worldwide.

 

For more information, please visit www.verisilicon.com.

Pure-Play Semiconductor Market by Region 2017-2018

IC Insights is in the process of completing its forecast and analysis of the IC industry and will present its new findings in The McClean Report 2019, which will be published later this month.  Among the semiconductor industry data included in the new 400+ page report is an in-depth analysis of the IC foundry market and its suppliers.

 

With the recent rise of the fabless IC companies in China, the demand for foundry services has also risen in that country.  In total, pure-play foundry sales in China jumped by 30% in 2017 to $7.6 billion, triple the 9% increase for the total pure-play foundry market that year.  Moreover, in 2018, pure-play foundry sales to China surged by an amazing 41%, over 8x the 5% increase for the total pure-play foundry market last year.

 

As a result of a 41% increase in the China pure-play foundry market last year, China’s total share of the 2018 pure-play foundry market jumped by five percentage points to 19% as compared to 2017, exceeding the share held by the rest of the Asia-Pacific region (Figure 1).  Overall, China was responsible for essentially all of the total pure-play foundry market increase in 2018!

 

All of the major pure-play foundries registered double-digit sales increases to China last year, but the biggest increase by far came from pure-play foundry giant TSMC.  Following a 44% jump in 2017, TSMC’s sales into China surged by another 61% in 2018 to $6.0 billion.  The China market was responsible for essentially all of TSMC’s sales increase last year with China’s share of the company’s sales doubling from 9% in 2016 to 18% in 2018.

 

A great deal of TSMC’s sales surge into China in 2018 was driven by increased demand for custom devices going into the cryptocurrency market.  While TSMC enjoyed a great ramp up in sales for its cryptocurrency business through 2Q18, the company encountered a slowdown for this business in the second half of last year, which was apparent in its slower sales to China in 3Q18 and 4Q18.  The 2018 plunge in the price of Bitcoins (from over $15K per Bitcoin in January of 2018 to less than $4K in December of 2018) and other cryptocurrencies lowered the demand for these ICs.

Figure 1

 

With China’s share of the pure-play foundry market quickly growing (going from representing 11% of the total pure-play foundry market in 2015 to a 19% share in 2018) it comes as no surprise that many of the pure-play foundries are planning to locate or expand IC production in Mainland China.  Notably, each of the top seven pure-play foundries has plans for increasing China-based wafer fabrication production, including the five non-Chinese foundries of TSMC, GlobalFoundries, UMC, Powerchip, and TowerJazz.

 

 

Report Details:  The 2019 McClean Report

The 2019 edition of The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry, will be released in January 2019. A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 200+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual user license to the 2019 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,990 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,990.

As part of your 2019 subscription, you are entitled to free attendance at a McClean Report half-day seminar (one seat for each copy purchased; company-wide licensees receive five free seats).  The schedule for this year’s McClean Report seminar tour is shown below.

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 — Scottsdale, Arizona
Thursday, January 24, 2019 — Sunnyvale, California
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 — Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

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/