Monthly Archives: March 2019

SoC Clock Domain Crossing – An Important Problem

Sometimes, when crossing clock domains, synchronizers are just not enough.

 

Imagine sending data serially over a single line and receiving it on the other side from the output of a common synchronizer as shown bellow.

 

Assuming one clock cycle is enough to recover from metastability under the given operating conditions, what seems to be the main problem is not the integrity of the signal – i.e. making sure it is not propagating metastability through the rest of the circuit – but rather the correctness of the data.

 

Let’s observe the waveform below. The red vertical lines represent the sampling point of the incoming signal. We see from the waveform that since sometimes we sample during a transition – in effect violating the setup-hold window – the output of the first sampling flop (marked “x“) goes metastable. This metastability does not propagate further into the circuit, it is effectively blocked by the second flop, but since the result of recovery from metastability is not certain (see previous post) the outcome might be a corrupt data.
In this specific example we see that net x goes metastable after sampling the 3rd bit but recovers correctly. In a later sampling, for the 6th bit we see that the recovered outcome is not correct and as a result the output data is wrong.

 

Another interesting case is when both the send clock and the receive clock are frequency locked but their phase might drift in time or the clock signals might experience occasional jitter.
In that case, a bit might “stretch” or “shrink” and can be accidentally sampled twice or not sampled at all.
The waveform below demonstrates the problem. Notice how bit 2, was stretched and sampled twice.

 

To sum up, never use a simple synchronizer structure to transfer information serially between clock domains, even if they are frequency locked. You might be in more trouble than you initially thought.

 

On the next post we will discuss how to solve this problem with ring buffers (sometimes mistakenly called FIFOs).

 

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This is a guest post by Nir Dahan.

Number of 300mm Semiconductor Fabs Expected to Reach 121 in 2019

IC Insights recently released its Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023 report that provides in-depth analyses and forecasts of IC industry capacity by wafer size, by process geometry, by region, and by product type through 2023. The newest edition of the Global Wafer Capacity report shows that 300mm wafers took over as the industry’s primary wafer size in terms of total surface area used in 2008. Furthermore, the number of 300mm wafer fabrication facilities in operation continues to increase. With nine new 300mm wafer fabs scheduled to open in 2019, the worldwide number of operational 300mm wafer fabs is expected to climb to 121 this year (Figure 1) and grow to a total of 138 fabs at the end of the forecast period.

 

 

Figure 1: Number of Semiconductor Fabs Processing 300mm Wafers

 

Some highlights regarding 300mm wafer fabs are shown below.

•    At the end of 2018, there were 112 production-class IC fabs utilizing 300mm wafers (there are R&D fabs and several high-volume fabs around the globe that make “non-IC” products using 300mm wafers, but these are not included in the count).

•    There are nine 300mm wafer fabs scheduled to open in 2019 (five of them located in China) following seven that opened in 2018.  Nine new fabs in 2019 would be the most opened in a single year since 12 were opened in 2007.  Another six are scheduled to open in 2020.  All of the new fabs coming in 2019 and 2020 will be for DRAM and flash memory or for foundry capacity.

•    The number of active volume-production 300mm fabs declined for the first time in 2013 when ProMOS closed two large fabs and two other fabs that were scheduled to open in 2013 where delayed until 2014.  The quantity of 300mm fabs has risen every year since.

•    By the end of 2023 there are expected to be 26 more fabs in operation than in 2018, bringing the total number of 300mm fabs used for IC production to 138.  For comparison, at the end of 2018 there were 150 volume-production 200mm wafer fabs in operation (the peak number of 200mm fabs was 210).

 

Report Details:  Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023
IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023—Detailed Analysis and Forecast of the IC Industry’s Wafer Fab Capacity report assesses the IC industry’s capacity by wafer size, minimum process geometry, technology type, geographic region, and device type through 2023. The report includes detailed profiles of the companies with the greatest fab capacity and gives comprehensive specifications on existing wafer fab facilities. Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023 is priced at $4,890 for an individual user license.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,590.

 

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/

 

GOWIN Semiconductor Corporation Appoints Pan-European Representative

GOWIN Semiconductor Corporation, the world’s fastest growing programmable logic company, today announces the appointment of GoRep Limited as its representative in Europe. This appointment represents further expansion in the territory following other recent distribution announcements as well as the opening of a European sales office and appointment of a Director of Sales and General Manager.

 

“We are delighted to have appointed GoRep as our representative in Europe and Middle East. Their high calibre sales force has long experience in the FPGA market and support for all major segments including communications, industrial, automotive, computing and consumer,” said Mike Furnival, Director of Sales at GOWIN Europe. “We have no doubt that this appointment will further enhance our recent strong revenue growth and design win momentum in China and more recently, rest of Asia and North America. Their focus and commitment is second to none and we feel sure that as a result our European business and customers will benefit significantly over the coming months.”

 

“We are very excited to be working with GoWin, supporting the company’s growth in the European region. We will be working hard to help build and grow the company’s already impressive customer momentum in other regions” said Peter Rogers, Founder at GoRep. “The technology GoWin brings to the market is very exciting and has the opportunity to change the landscape of FPGAs and SoCs very rapidly. Furthermore it is and excellent synergistic fit for our other major vendors.”

 

 

About GOWIN Semiconductor Corp.

Founded in 2014, GOWIN Semiconductor Corp., headquartered with major R&D in China, has the vision to accelerate customer innovation world wide with our programmable solutions. We focus on optimizing our products and removing barriers for customers using programmable logic devices. Our commitment to technology and quality enables customers to reduce the total cost of ownership from using FPGA on their production boards. Our offerings include a broad portfolio of programmable logic devices, design software, intellectual property (IP) cores, reference designs, and development kits. We strive to serve customers in the consumer, industrial, communication, medical, and automotive markets worldwide.

 

For more information about GOWIN, please visit www.gowinsemi.com

 

About GoRep Ltd.

 

GoRep was founded in 2019, to offer a new representative model across EMEA. GoRep’s people have long and detailed backgrounds in the European semiconductor market and the FPGA industry specifically. We have a significant sales team at your service, speak local languages and are located across Europe. Our application team is devoted to helping customers find the most optimized architecture for their electronic systems use cases, with the help of our partners’ solutions and expertise.

For more information visit www.go-rep.com

Mobile Semiconductor Licenses memory compilers to Sandia National Laboratories

Mobile Semiconductor announced today that they are licensing their 180nm Memory Compilers to Sandia National Laboratories.

 

Cameron Fisher, Founder and CEO of Mobile Semiconductor said, “We are proud to announce that we are licensing our 180nm Single Port SRAM and 180nm Dual Port SRAM memory compilers to Sandia National Laboratories. In addition to our memory compilers, we are also licensing our development and characterization tool Trailblaze.”

 

He continued, “The Single Port and Dual Port compilers have the industry leading feature set and performance that customers have grown to expect from Mobile Semiconductor. Trailblaze goes one step further and allows the user to change key features of a uniquely created compiler to provide them with the highest level of customization and security without compromising quality.”

 

With its United States footprint, and 100% internally created and tested software, Mobile Semiconductor is unique among companies offering similar products. This makes them an excellent choice for aerospace and defense related projects. Mobile Semiconductor has a 10-year history of providing memory compilers and related tools to the top companies in the satellite, aerospace, and defense markets.

 

Mr. Fisher continued, “We are anticipating that these latest memory compilers supplied for Sandia National Laboratories’ projects will continue to contribute to the capabilities offered on Sandia’s 180nm process.”

 

Mobile Semiconductor supports design nodes from 180nm down to 14nm. They make a range of memory compilers for Single Port and Dual Port SRAM as well as a range of Register File and ROM compilers. Their products are available for foundry standard technologies as well as for specialized customer owned process variants.

 

Mobile Semiconductor will be attending GOMAC 2019 in Albuquerque NM from March 25th-27th. Visit us at booth 213 and learn more about our Rad Hard, high performance, and low power memory compiler solutions.

 

 

About Mobile Semiconductor:

 

Mobile Semiconductor is located in Seattle, Washington with a design center in Williston, Vermont. The company develops SRAM, ROM and Register File compilers optimized for applications requiring ultra-low power, low leakage or ultra-high performance.

 

Mobile Semiconductor’s customers differentiate their own products by using our application-optimized SRAMs to meet their high performance and ultra-low power product requirements. http://www.mobile-semiconductor.com/

Israeli Semiconductor Companies

Last update: March-2019

 

This article is an attempt to gather all the Israeli Semiconductor Companies into a single document. Israel’s semiconductor industry consists mainly of three types of companies – multinational IC design companies, fabless companies, and ASIC design services companies.

 

We will update this page from time to time, if you find a mistake or would like to help us keep this page up-to-date, don’t be shy – drop us an email here.

 

Intel

 

Intel established a presence in Israel in 1974 in Haifa with five employees. Today the company employs about 10,000 people, in addition to indirectly supporting the employment of 30,000 workers in Israel. About 60% of Intel Israel’s employees are engaged in cutting-edge R&D, while half support high-volume manufacturing of microprocessors that power the world’s computing devices.

Intel has four development centers located in Haifa, Yakum, Petach Tikva and Jerusalem, as well as manufacturing-related facilities in Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem.

 

Website: https://www.intel.com

 

Qualcomm

 

Qualcomm Israel has 2 R&D centers located at Haifa and Hod Hasharon, both sites are affiliated to Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Qualcomm’s largest division, selling millions of chips per year.
The R&D center in Israel was established in 1993 and since targets to provide meaningful contributions to Qualcomm’s products, technologies and innovation. Between 2010-2016, Qualcomm acquired five Israeli companies, and continues to expand in leading technologies.

 

Website: https://www.qualcomm.com

 

Marvell

 

Marvell Israel is a part of the Marvell® Technology Group, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has more than 5,700 employees worldwide. Marvell is the 3rd fabless semiconductor company worldwide, shipping over 1 billion chips per year. Marvell has three offices in Israel at Yokneam, Ramat Gan and Petah Tikva. Marvell Israel is the leading front of Ethernet technology, with end to end development of Enterprise, Campus and Datacenter networking products ranging from Ethernet switches and Storage networking to Server Network Adapters (a.k.a NICs).

 

Website: https://www.marvell.com

 

Mellanox (Nvidia)

 

Mellanox Technologies is a leading supplier of end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand intelligent interconnect solutions and services for servers, storage, and hyper-converged infrastructure. Mellanox intelligent interconnect solutions increase data center efficiency by providing the highest throughput and lowest latency, delivering data faster to applications and unlocking system performance. Mellanox offers a choice of high performance solutions: network and multicore processors, network adapters, switches, cables, software and silicon, that accelerate application runtime and maximize business results for a wide range of markets including high performance computing, enterprise data centers, Web 2.0, cloud, storage, network security, telecom and financial services.

 

Website: http://www.mellanox.com/

 

Freescale (now NXP)

 

Built on a 50-year legacy with Motorola and Philips, NXP has, research and development, technical support and sales operations in Israel.

 

Website: https://www.nxp.com

 

DSP Group

 

DSP Group, Inc. is a leading global provider of wireless chipset solutions for converged communications. At the forefront of semiconductor innovation and operational excellence for over two decades, DSP Group provides a broad portfolio of wireless chipsets integrating DECT/CAT-iq, ULE, Wi-Fi, PSTN, HDClear™, video and VoIP technologies.

 

Website: https://www.dspg.com/

 

IP Light

 

IP Light develops advanced Optical Transport Network (OTN) processors (either as ASSP, Application Specific Standard Products, or as FPGA IP cores) that enable carriers to take the leap into super broadband mobile services, deploying C-RAN based mobile networks or enhancing the capabilities of OTN optical networks quickly and cost effectively.

 

Website: http://www.iplight.com/

 

 

Satixfy

 

Established in 2012 by leading entrepreneurs in the satellite industry, SatixFy designs next-generation satellite communication systems based on in-house developed chipsets. With locations in Israel and the UK, SatixFy develops a line of satellite communication modems with Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Electronically Steered Multi Beam Antennas (ESMA) to support the most advanced standards, such as DVB-S2X.

 

Website: http://www.satixfy.com/

 

Celeno

 

Wi-Fi is the digital foundation of the home and, due to its ubiquity, has already become the dominant wireless connectivity technology for the delivery of IoT.

 

Website: https://www.celeno.com/

 

Nuvoton

 

Nuvoton Technology Israel is located in Hertzliah Pituah and is a fully owned subsidiary of Nuvoton Technology Corporation of Taiwan and the Advanced PC Product Center which is responsible for development and marketing of silicon-based solutions for Personal Computers and Servers.

 

Website: http://www.nuvoton.com

 

Windbond

 

Winbond Israel is a growing R&D center based in Herzlia, Israel, and is a subsidiary of Winbond Corporation Taiwan – the #1 vendor of serial flash memories. At Winbond Israel, we design cutting-edge technology for secure non-volatile memories. Our products target the strictest and highest security standards for new types of mobile consumer solutions.

 

Website: http://winbond.co.il/

 

Annapurna Labs (now Amazon)

 

Annapurna Labs is an amazon company. We are inventing the next generation of cloud computing infrastructure and the storage/networking industry as a whole.

 

Website: http://www.annapurnalabs.com/

 

Arbe Robotics

 

At Arbe we develop and provide a turnkey solution for level 4 full autonomous driving. Based on our proprietary imaging radar, our system is the first ever to provide real-time 4D mapping in high resolution, thus making any vehicle fully-autonomous

 

Website: http://www.arberobotics.com

 

 

Sckipio

 

Founded in 2012, Sckipio is the first semiconductor company focused on the exciting new ITU standard, G.Fast. Headquartered in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sckipio was founded by a veteran team of communications experts with deep experience in broadband access and home networking solutions. Sckipio’s 70-person Gfast team helped create many important communications standards including ADSL, VDSL, WiMax, LTE, WiFi, HomePNA, HomePlug, G.hn, Gfast and MoCA.

 

Website: http://www.sckipio.com/

 

Valens

 

Valens is the inventor and the world leader in HDBaseT technology and a top provider of semiconductor products for the distribution of ultra-high-definition multimedia content, through a single cable, according to the needs of its target markets: AV, automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics.

 

Website https://www.valens.com/

 

Habana

 

Habana Labs was founded in 2016 to unlock the true potential of AI by providing an order of magnitude improvements in processing performance, cost and power consumption.

The company set out to develop AI processors from the ground up, optimized for the specific needs of training deep neural networks and for inference deployment in production environments.

Website: https://habana.ai/

 

Autotalks

 

Autotalks is a fabless semiconductor company devoted to vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications for manned and autonomous vehicles. Founded in 2008, the company is privately held with strong financial backing from leading global venture capital funds, OEMs and Tier1s. The company headquarters are in Israel with offices in North America, Germany, France, China, Japan and Korea.

Website: https://www.auto-talks.com

 

Innoviz

 

Innoviz is a leading manufacturer of high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software that enable the mass-production of autonomous vehicles. InnovizPro is a solid-state LiDAR that offers outstanding performance and value for automotive and other applications. InnovizOne is a cutting-edge, automotive-grade LiDAR sensor that provides superior 3D sensing for Level 3-Level 5 autonomous driving. Innoviz is backed by top-tier strategic partners and investors, including Aptiv, Magna International, Samsung, Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Ventures, SoftBank Ventures Korea, 360 Capital Partners, Glory Ventures, Naver and others.

 

Website: https://innoviz.tech

 

Hailo 

 

Hailo is developing a breakthrough specialized deep learning processor, that empowers intelligent devices with the performance of a data center-class computer, operating in real time at minimal power consumption, size and cost.

 

Website: https://www.hailotech.com/

 

CoreTigo 

 

CoreTigo is developing a reliable and secured wireless network system to support tens of IoT nodes at a latency of milliseconds. CoretTigo’s system will replace the serial wired cables in industrial control applications, taking the Industrial Revolution 4.0 to the next level.  At CoreTigo, we believe that our technology and solution will one day replace the majority of the serial wires cables in critical mission applications in the world.

 

Website: https://www.coretigo.com/

 

Wiliot

 

Wiliot is a fabless semiconductor company whose mission is to scale the Internet of Things by connecting people with products with cloud connected, sticker sized, Battery Free Bluetooth tags. The company was founded by the leadership of the Gigabit Wi-Fi pioneer Wilocity, a group of wireless engineers experienced in building new products and the ecosystems required for their success. Wiliot has a research and development team based in Israel, operations in Germany and business development in San Diego, California.

 

Website: https://www.wiliot.com/

 

Vayyar

 

Vayyar develops safe, mobile, low cost 3D imaging sensors, enabling applications ranging from breast cancer screening to detecting water leakage, people tracking, vital signs, and more.

 

Website: https://vayyar.com/

 

ColorChip

 

ColorChip brings high speed data transmission to the world’s top mega-datacenters and enterprises. We are the pioneering global leader of hyperscale single-mode solutions, leveraging our patented SystemOnGlassTM platform to deliver robust yet compact optical transceivers that support immense rates of data-intensive traffic. Our high speed solutions and end-to-end production processes push mega data centers and social media providers far into the future, and bring communities everywhere closer together.

 

Website: https://www.color-chip.com/

 

SolarEdge

 

In 2006, SolarEdge revolutionized the solar industry by inventing a better way to collect and manage energy in PV systems. Today, we are a global leader in smart energy technology. By deploying world-class engineering capabilities and with a relentless focus on innovation, we create smart energy products and solutions that power our lives and drive future progress.

 

Website: https://www.solaredge.com/

 

Ceragon

 

Ceragon Networks delivers innovative wireless backhaul solutions that help you increase your operational efficiency, enhance your end-customers’ quality of experience, and ensure your peace of mind. As the #1 wireless backhaul specialist, Ceragon has been leading the industry for over 20 years now. Our mission is resolving your wireless backhaul challenges – helping you achieve the highest value for you! Our solutions are deployed by more than 460 service providers, as well as hundreds of private network owners, in more than 130 countries.

 

Website: https://www.ceragon.com/

 

Vayavision

 

VAYAVISION brings autonomous vehicle perception to new heights. By applying our AI and computer vision algorithms to raw data fused from radar, lidar and camera, we build the most accurate 3D environmental model.

 

Website: https://vayavision.com/

 

Intuitive

 

Inuitive designs powerful multi core processor ICs that serve as the vision processor for Smartphones, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality devices as well as Robots, to name a few of the applications that benefit from its technology.

 

Website: http://www.inuitive-tech.com/

 

PLSense

 

PLSense offers a unique and revolutionary generic approach that goes far beyond existing conventions on the market. In fact, PLSense provides a complete solution for IoT SoC design that only demands minimum energy operation for the targeted performance in a wide range of frequencies (up to 100MHz) dynamically required by the application. While extending the system battery life by a factor of 5-10X from existing solution today.

 

Website: https://www.plsense.com/

 

Altair (now Sony)

 

Altair Semiconductor, a leading provider of LTE chipsets, plays a pivotal role in the IoT. In February 2016, Altair became part of Sony’s Semiconductor Solutions Corporation, combining its leadership in cellular IoT with Sony’s technology and market leadership.

 

Website: https://altair-semi.com/

 

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We will update this page from time to time, if you find a mistake or would like to help us keep this page up-to-date, don’t be shy – drop us an email here.