EDA News – 2007.12.10

IBM Alliance Speeds Implementation of 32nm High-k, Metal Gate
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its joint development partners — AMD, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., Freescale, Infineon, and Samsung — announced an innovative approach to speed the implementation of a breakthrough material known as “high-k/metal gate” in next generation 32 nanometer (32nm) computer chips.

Arrow to Distribute Triad Mixed-Signal Via-Configurable Array ASICs
The North American Components business of Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW) and Triad Semiconductor, Inc., a leading mixed-signal ASIC provider, will make Triad’s mixed-signal via-configurable array ASICs available through Arrow’s North American sales and design centers.

Silicon Graphics Selects Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGAs for SGI RC100 RASC
Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX), the world’s leading provider of programmable solutions, announced that an SGI(R) RASC(TM) (Reconfigurable Application Specific Computing) enabled SGI(R) Altix(TM) system from Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (Nasdaq: SGIC), featuring Xilinx(R) Virtex-4 high performance FPGAs, can accelerate the Blast-n (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool for nucleotides) bioinformatics application by more than 900 times compared to a traditional cluster.

AMCC Creates Evaluation Kits for PowerPC 405EX, 405EXr Processors
Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (NASDAQ:AMCC) announced the availability of low-cost, easy-to-use evaluation kits for its Power Architecture® 405EX and 405EXr processors. To accelerate customers’ system development time, AMCC’s new evaluation kits provide users with a comprehensive set of resources including custom-designed evaluation boards, industry-standard software development tools, sample applications, system-level benchmarks and hardware design files. The kits allow customers to perform comprehensive evaluations of the 405EX and 405EXr processors, use the baseline hardware/software designs as a starting-point for their own product development and initiate their system software development using the kits as the target platforms.

Texas Instruments Launches MSP430F2xx High-Performance Microcontrollers
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced the availability of five new families of MSP430F2xx high-performance microcontrollers, the industry’s lowest-power 16-bit general purpose microcontrollers (MCUs). The new microcontrollers provide a direct upgrade path for corresponding devices in TI’s popular MSP430F1xx generation of ultra-low-power MCUs, easing development and offering complete software and pin compatibility while delivering twice the performance, twice the battery life, and increased memory. MSP430F2xx MCUs enable developers of meters, sensors, industrial control systems, handheld instruments and a host of other embedded systems to extend the performance and lifetime of their products with minimal redesign.

Connect One Develops SecureGAP Firewall-on-a-chip for M2M Devices
Connect One(TM), the Device Networking Authority(TM), has developed SecureGAP, a cost-effective, firewall-on-a-chip solution which allows M2M devices to be safely connected directly to the public Internet. SecureGAP safeguards vital proprietary information for applicaton owners through security and data segregation which serves as a gatekeeper and natural firewall between the host processor and the Internet as well as significantly cutting connectivity costs and simplifying deployment. This technology has been introduced in the CO2128, Connect One’s newest and lowest cost IP controller that provides Internet connectivity, encryption and superior security for a host processor or device. The CO2128 powers Connect One’s entire range of modules and device servers.

Microchip Announces MCP73837, MCP73838 Li-Ion/Li-Polymer Chargers
Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced the MCP73837 and MCP73838 (MCP73837/8) dual-input, high-current Li-Ion/Polymer charge-management controllers with automatic USB or AC adapter power-source selection. The single-cell, fully integrated chargers enable charge currents of up to 1A from an AC power source, plus charging currents of up to 100 mA or 500 mA from a USB port. They have several on-chip safety features, and are available in 10-pin MSOP and 3 mm x 3 mm DFN packages, to enable smaller, faster and safer battery-charger designs.

MontaVista Debuts Real-Time Embedded Linux for AMCC PowerPC 405EX, 405EXr
MontaVista Software, Inc. announced two new Linux support packages (LSPs) that make MontaVista® Linux® Professional Edition 5.0 available for the new AMCC PowerPC 405EX and 405EXr processors. In addition to bringing commercial-grade Linux to the AMCC processors, the new MontaVista LSPs will enable device designers and embedded application developers to use the MontaVista DevRocket integrated development environment (IDE) to develop products for the new processors.

Cypress’s West Bridge Antioch Controller Ranks First in Benchmarks
Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY) announced that its peripheral controller delivered the fastest transfer of multimedia files from a PC to a mobile handset in a recent comparison by industry analyst firm Semiconductor Insights. The comparison discovered that the phone using the CYWB0124AB West Bridge(TM) Antioch(TM) controller transferred 49.7 Mbytes of 22 song files in 5 seconds and 552.5 Mbytes of an 85-minute movie file in 37 seconds. The other phones tested, which all feature High-Speed USB, took at least twice as long.

Tensilica Upgrades Xtensa Configurable Processor
Tensilica®, Inc. announced that it has upgraded its two Xtensa® configurable processor families (the Xtensa 7 and Xtensa LX2) with new hardware options and software tool enhancements that make it appeal to an even wider audience of SOC (system-on-chip) designers. Highlights of these capabilities include a new, smaller general purpose register file option, new integer multiplier and divider execution unit options, two new AMBA(TM) (Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture 3.0) bridge options, as well as an easy-to-use new configuration tool that analyzes source C/C++ code and automatically suggests VLIW (very long instruction word) instruction extensions that lead to 30-60 percent improvements in general purpose code performance. These new capabilities provide designers with the most productive configurable processor design environment, with automated features that ensure each processor design is correct by construction.

OneSpin Solutions Debuts Stand-Alone 360 EC-FPGA Equivalence Checker
OneSpin Solutions GmbH, an electronic design automation (EDA) company that provides award-winning formal verification solutions, announced its stand-alone 360 EC-FPGA equivalence checker – the industry’s first sequential equivalence checking solution dedicated to and priced for the FPGA market. It is the only equivalence checker to support all sequential optimizations performed by FPGA synthesis tools. It thus enables designers to verify functionality without disabling the advanced synthesis optimizations vital to achieving functional, performance and cost goals. Formerly an extension of OneSpin’s established 360 EC-ASIC equivalence checker, 360 EC-FPGA now is packaged stand-alone and priced for broad application in the FPGA market. OneSpin also has extended 360 EC-FPGA’s support to include all Altera Stratix® and Cyclone® FPGAs, and HardCopy®; most Xilinx Spartan(TM) and Virtex(TM) products; and the Synplicity® Synplify Pro® synthesis flow – including gated clock conversion.

Tensilica Unveils Instruction Trace Capability for FPGA Prototyping
Tensilica®, Inc. announced that it has added an optional full-speed, non-intrusive instruction trace capability to all of its Diamond Standard and Xtensa® configurable processor cores. Tensilica’s TRAX-PC processor trace capture macrocell is Nexus 5001 compatible and ideal for debugging complex, challenging real-time applications such as engine and motor control. Software control and use of the on-chip TRAX hardware is fully integrated into Tensilica’s Xplorer(TM) integrated design environment (IDE) so software engineers can easily develop and debug programs while using the TRAX-PC trace macrocell.