Sensata Technologies

<p>The race continuesWhen shipments start, the advanced technology expected to be employed in the Penryn architecture will be difficult or impossible to match until AMD's 45-nm technology is introduced in turn. Intel is not only racing the clock with AMD for the microprocessor performance crown, but also with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. for technology leadership. In this less-visible race, Matsushita may beat Intel to 45-nm commercialization, albeit without a high-k gate offering. This is a contest that AMD has chosen not to participate in, but rather to pursue the same objective in its own fashion, and on its own timetable. </p>

A 2.4 GHz RF home entertainment control system based on the IEEE' 802.15.4 standard can offer features that go way beyond simple commands from a hand-held remote control. It can become the new standard by which entertainment systems will communicate, changing entirely the way we watch, listen and interact with our home entertainment systems.

Table 2. Instrumentation Characteristics of the four devices.

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Conclusions The ClearBlue silicon validation platform satisfies both the requirements and the designers' wishes” outlined in Part 1 of this series. The easily inserted, embedded instrumentation provides on-chip, at-speed observability of the internal operation of the SoC working in system. All instruments are accessed and controlled at system speed via standard communications channels (JTAG) and do not change the behavior or degrade the performance of the device. Dynamically created assertions and triggers check and monitor relations between signals so they do not require knowledge of expected values and are not affected by non-deterministic operation. Dynamically reconfigurable instruments enable continuous reuse of the same hardware resources to check, in turn, a large number of correctness properties, providing an automated, at-speed, in-system validation procedure. If bugs or misbehaviors are detected, the instrumentation helps to quickly diagnose the root cause of the problem. Programmable stimulus injectors provide a flexible and efficient means to evaluate the behavior of the system in the presence of many types of faults and errors.

Silicon results show that the combination of at-speed on-chip assertion checking, embedded logic analysis, transaction stimulus, and scan dumps for complete register observability creates a breakthrough solution of unprecedented power for in-system, at-speed silicon validation and debug. The reconfigurable platform and its applications extend advanced capabilities (such as transaction-level modeling and assertions) from pre-silicon verification to silicon validation and debug.

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The ClearBlue platform shows the advantages of combining standard ASIC logic (for functionality) and reconfigurable logic (for infrastructure). The technology mix is user-defined and automatically implemented. Because the instrumentation is inserted at RTL, the mixing is seamless and compatible with standard design flows.

ClearBlue provides a comprehensive menu of applications and a large degree of automation in an area where very little automation has been available. The flexibility of the reconfigurable instrumentation enables additional innovative applications to be easily developed. The end results are a significant reduction of the silicon validation and debug time and faster discovery and root-cause determination of integration problems, design bugs, and chip defects. We expect that this approach will be widely deployed in complex SoCs at 90nm and below.

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About the AuthorsMiron Abramovici, Ph.D., is CTO and cofounder of DAFCA, Inc. Dr. Abramovici is an IEEE Fellow and best known as coauthor of Digital Systems Testing and Testable Design. Dr. Abramovici has 26 patents and over 80 publications. He can be reached at Paul Bradley is Vice President of Engineering at DAFCA, Inc. Mr. Bradley has over 20 years' experience in electronics and systems design, and specializes in product development and engineering leadership in emerging technology markets. He can be reached at

Certainly the BOM cost is significantly weighted toward the semiconductor content. The transmit and receive path ICs plus the baseband ICs can easily approach $70 today, with the baseband solution taking perhaps 60% to 70% of that total.

In addition, IC and system manufacturing costs must be minimized to help enable a sub $100 platform now, and to set a roadmap to a sub $40 platform in 2009 and beyond.

On the manufacturability challenge, multiple calibration points for the radio IC can significantly add to the chipset implementation cost, thus adding to total cost of ownership. Semiconductor vendors must consider this when designing the femtocell radio transceiver IC. The IC must meet system-performance metrics, simplifying the design such that, for example, only a single-point radio calibration is required.

Additionally, the box must be easy to integrate into the network. The ability to listen to the RF environment and self configure are mandatory to keep up with regulatory requirements, operation expenditures, and subscriber satisfaction. In a UMTS radio, the monitor receiver must control proper system power levels in the presence of GSM base stations, for example.

Fujitsu recently announced its Mobile WiMAX System-on-Chip (SoC) solution and roadmap. The MB86K21 has been designed to optimize both performance and power consumption using Fujitsu's 90nm process technology, and is especially well-suited for PC cards and mobile devices.

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