Picochip achieves first silicon success for 40nm picoXcel Femtocell chip

Picochip develops system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for the mobile communications infrastructure market. 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.

According to Synopsys the Lynx Design System enabled Picochip’s engineering team to quickly and efficiently upgrade to a pre-tested 40nm 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, vice president 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. It allowed us to tape out our first 40nm chip, whilst saving us months of R&D effort.”

The Lynx Design System is a complete chip design environment that includes a design flow enabled by Galaxy tools which provide innovative visualisation capabilities to help create and track designs throughout the implementation cycle. Picochip’s decision to adopt Lynx was intended to mitigate the cost and risk of creating and maintaining a new production flow for its first 40nm design and to meet an aggressive project schedule.


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