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Power Silicon's SoC design earns patent win

Posted: 19 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ASIC design? library augmentation? low power? SoC?

Open-Silicon Inc. has gained patent approval for its low power ASIC design. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent 7,941,776 to the company's PowerMAX technology that can be used in mobile, networking, computing, telecom and storage applications.

The patent includes the intellectual property rights of Open-Silicon's ZenCells, standard cells created on-the-fly using PowerMAX's design-specific library augmentation. ZenCells drive down both dynamic and leakage power through a method of closed-loop IC design optimization. This process involves automatically creating design-specific cells with desired characteristics such as power, performance, or noise that are then implemented as a standard cell from a set of post layout patterns. The pattern represents a part of or a whole standard cell and contains information regarding the pattern including layout, timing area, power and noise. Since these cells are created from post-layout patterns, the risks of prior dynamic library techniques are easily avoided. This creates cells that can satisfy the constraints of design context, thus bringing powerful design-specific customization to standard cell-based design methodology, explained the company.

PowerMax

PowerMAX's transistor level optimization creates new standard cells called ZenCells, which drive down both dynamic and leakage power.

Introduced in 2008, PowerMAX is part of Open-Silicon's Max Technologies product line. PowerMAX adds design-specific library augmentation, back biasing, power recovery and custom leakage signoff. By combining the best industry standard methods with novel technologies unique to Open-Silicon, customers can achieve the lowest power consumption possible, the company stated.

"Increasing levels of integration in performance-driven SoCs have challenged designers to come up with novel architectural and physical design solutions for power density limitations. At the other end of the spectrum, mobile applications are driving exponential growth in mobile performance, matched with ever-increasing battery life requirements," noted Colin Baldwin, director of marketing for Open-Silicon.





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