UMC and Cadence collaborate to deliver 28nm design reference flow

Cadence Design Systems has announced that United Microelectronics, a global semiconductor foundry, used Cadence implementation and signoff tools to produce a silicon-ready 28nm ARM Cortex-A7 MPCore-based system on chip (SoC) targeting entry-level smartphones, tablets, high-end wearables and other advanced mobile devices. With the Cadence solution, UMC reduced the time to tapeout by 33% versus its previous solution and achieved performance of 1.7GHz. In addition, UMC achieved a dynamic power consumption of less than 200mW, which represents a 20% reduction over their previous flow.

Using the multi-threaded Encounter Digital Implementation System, which incorporates GigaOpt route-driven optimisation along with CCOpt concurrent clock datapath optimization, resulted in faster turnaround time with significantly improved performance, die area and dynamic power. In addition, the seamless integration of Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution, Voltus IC Power Integrity Solution and Quantus QRC Extraction Solution, Physical Verification System, Litho Physical Analyser and CMP Predictor allowed UMC to perform signoff checks much earlier in the process to affirm that the design functioned as intended upon completion.

“The Cadence massively parallel architecture allowed us to significantly reduce the time spent in signoff analysis, implementation and closure so we could quickly deliver a quality reference design to market that exceeded our power, performance and area expectations,” said Shih Chin Lin, senior division director of IP Development and Design Support division at UMC. “Our mobile customers have very specific device requirements, and we’ve tested the new chip to ensure that they have a reliable 28nm silicon-ready reference design.”

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