Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Revenue for IC design top companies; RISC-V for motor control; POL buck regulators for servers; Alphawave IP, Allegro Microsystems complete acquisitions.


Revenue for the top 10 IC design houses globally hit US$ 39.6 billion in 2Q22, a 32% growth over the prior year, according to a Trendforce report. The firm contends this growth trend will be difficult to maintain due to the high preceding base period and overall worse market conditions.

Renesas introduced a RISC-V MCU specifically optimized for advanced motor control systems. The new ASSP includes a cost-optimized 32MHz, 32-bit CPU core; analog IP including ADCs with three dedicated PGA and S/H, two DACs, two comparators, and temperature sensor; advanced motor control timers and two watchdog timers, and temperature support up to Ta +125°C for harsh operating environments. It also comes pre-programmed with specialized application code. Target applications for the new solution include home/building automation, healthcare devices, home appliances, drones and more.

Infineon debuted new integrated POL buck regulators with VR14-compliant SVID standard and I²C/PMBus digital interfaces for Intel/AMD server CPUs and network ASICs/FPGAs. They support up to 40 A or 25 A output current, depending on device, and use a constant on time (COT) PWM engine to improve transient performance. Housed in a 5 x 6 mm² PQFN package, they target next-generation server, storage, telecom, and datacom applications, as well as distributed power systems.


Intrinsic ID and Synopsys are teaming up to provide pre-verified PUF and hardware secure module (HSM) security solutions. “The integration of Intrinsic ID’s SRAM PUF technology with the highly secure Synopsys tRoot HSM IP enables SoC designers to protect the device and its data at boot time, runtime, and during the communication with other devices or to the cloud,” said John Koeter, senior vice president of marketing and strategy for the Solutions Group at Synopsys. The companies say the integration enables designers with little security experience to add system and data protection features to their SoC designs.

Keysight and IBM signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to pursue accelerating open radio access network (RAN) deployments in Europe. IBM plans to use Keysight Open Radio Architect (KORA) solutions in the company’s Open RAN center of excellence and integrate Keysight’s software-centric open RAN test, measurement, and emulation tools with IBM’s Cloud Pak for Network Automation, an AI-powered telco cloud platform for the automation of network operations.

Alphawave IP completed its acquisition of the OpenFive business unit from SiFive. The $210 million cash deal will bring OpenFive’s high-speed connectivity SoC IP portfolio to Alphawave and nearly double its number of connectivity-focused IPs, including an expanded die-to-die connectivity portfolio as well as adding data center and networking custom silicon solutions. “Alphawave can now deliver bundled connectivity-focused IP solutions and custom silicon solutions like chiplets to global customers,” said John Lofton Holt, Executive Chairman of Alphawave.

Allegro Microsystems completed its acquisition of Heyday Integrated Circuits. Heyday is a provider of compact, fully integrated isolated gate drivers that enable energy conversion in high-voltage gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) wide-bandgap semiconductor designs. Allego says the acquisition, which was worth approximately $19 million in cash, will complement its existing solutions for energy efficiency, including its current sensor solutions, and is expected to significantly expand its addressable market for electric vehicles, solar inverters, data center and 5G power supplies, and broad-market industrial applications.

Qualcomm and Meta are teaming up for the Metaverse with a multi-year agreement with Snapdragon extended reality (XR) platforms and technologies for the Meta Quest platform. 


NC State researchers demonstrated new high power devices using GaN that are more energy efficient, using electively doped GaN materials to create Junction Barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes. The research paper titled “Vertical GaN junction barrier Schottky diodes with near-ideal performance using Mg implantation activated by ultra-high-pressure annealing” can be found here.
Activity in this arena is picking up. Power devices were a bright spot for startup funding in August.

Read more

Is there about to be a major disruption in the EDA industry? A view from academics features in the latest Systems & Design newsletter. Plus, the impact of climate change on data centers and whether the industry is responding fast enough to changing demands on verification.

And check out the latest Low Power-High Performance newsletter for a look at the exponential and unsustainable increase in AI power consumption, how AI is being used in chips to improve power and performance, and cryogenic CMOS. Plus, why 3D NAND just keeps getting taller, why storing everything in the cloud isn’t the answer to archiving data, and modeling automotive performance and power.

Don’t miss the week’s Manufacturing, Test and Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing news.

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