SMIC, Brite Semi and Synopsys Collaborate on Low Power IoT Platform

September 18, 2017 by Paul Shepard

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), Brite Semiconductor, and Synopsys today announced a collaboration resulting in an IoT platform that enables designers, system integrators and OEMs to accelerate and differentiate their next-generation IoT systems.

The platform consisting of Synopsys' DesignWare® ARC® Data Fusion Subsystem with ARC EM9D processor, USB and I3C IP solutions was integrated by Brite Semiconductor design services using SMIC's 55-nm ultra-low power (ULP) process. The collaboration resulted in the successful development of a test chip demonstrating up to 45% reduction in dynamic power and 70% reduction in leakage power compared to SMIC's 55LL process technology.

This platform provides customers with a proven starting point for creating their IoT designs and enables the integration of customized functions on demand, while lowering costs. In addition, Synopsys is offering a commercialized ARC IoT Development Kit based on the platform to ease software development for ARC processor-based systems.

Brite's leading design services provide turnkey solutions for ASIC and SoC development on SMIC's advanced 55-nm process. Through this collaboration, Brite implemented a design that can be used as a basis for customers to tailor for their target application. These services enable chip developers to significantly speed time to market for IoT applications including smart home, wearable devices, smart city, and industrial.

"As a leading ASIC design solution provider, Brite worked closely with Synopsys and SMIC to develop an ARC-based IC optimized for the IoT on SMIC's 55-nm ULP process." said Larry Lee, VP of Marketing & Sales, at Brite Semiconductor. "Our mutual customers can now leverage a proven design and design team to develop their own SoC, customized for their specific application requirements, and get it to market in record time."

Together with partners in the IC ecosystem, SMIC helps design houses develop chips that can be used in a range of IoT applications. By reducing products' operating voltage, and optimizing the device and IP design, designers can greatly reduce both dynamic and static power consumption of products implemented in SMIC's 55-nm ULP process, while lowering overall system costs.

"SMIC's 55-nm process, which is in production, was developed specifically to address the stringent power and cost requirements of advanced IoT designs," said TianShen Tang, EVP of Design Service, at SMIC. "By collaborating with Brite and Synopsys on the IoT Platform, we are enabling the design community to leverage our newest low power 55-nm ULP foundry process with Synopsys' leading DesignWare IP and ARC processor-based subsystem solutions to meet their tight schedules and lower system cost."

Synopsys' ARC Data Fusion IP Subsystem, implemented in the IoT platform, is a pre-verified hardware and software IP product optimized for use in devices requiring minimal energy consumption. Tightly coupled interface peripherals, including pulse density modulation (PDM), and I2S combined with the included audio processing software library simplify the implementation of voice and speech functionality in a range of applications such as far-field voice user interfaces and hands-free voice commands.

In addition, the standards-compliant MIPI I3C controller enables high data rate transmission for the integration of multiple sensors in SoC. The integrated DesignWare USB 2.0 controller is silicon-proven and shipping in billions of devices.

"The advent of "always-on" IoT applications needing sensor fusion, audio playback and voice detection functionality is requiring systems to be optimized for the lowest power consumption possible." said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP at Synopsys. "Our collaboration with Brite and SMIC on the IoT IP Platform provides SoC designers, system integrators, OEMs and software developers with a proven solution that enables efficient development of their next-generation, low-power chipsets."

The DesignWare ARC Data Fusion Subsystem, USB Controller, and I3C IP are available today from Synopsys. The SMIC 55ULP process is now in production. Brite's turnkey design services for the IoT platform are available now.