On the 6th February ARM, a specialist in SoCs and ASICs, hosted a seminar for technology companies which took place in Hannover, Germany. The purpose of the event was to show how customers can benefit from customisation of the SoCs they use, together with ARM and its approved partners. Silicon customisation helps to make existing architectures even more power efficient.
The seminar was opened by Andrew Stewart, Senior Partner Manager at ARM (DACH region), who spoke about the concept of customised SoC with ARM IP, where customers can set up their requirements, whether it is DSP functionality, performance, power, area of the chip, or the IP. Regardless ARM will help to build it and integrate into the customer’s product, which will can be done by the ARM approved design partner.
Different customised devices have different requirements, such as IoT (high performance) devices that have to process at the Edge, rather than in the Cloud, mainstream devices and some others. ARM has a solution to match all these requirements. Verification is also an important part of the project which has to be simulated, tested, and brought to implementation.
Implementation can be done using foundries like TSMC, Samsung and others. Silicon technology is becoming more and more advanced, however, there is no need to use the very latest processes. There are many solid and mature technologies that have already proved their effectiveness and cost.
ARM offers all kinds of support for customers with its SoC development, from definition until implementation, using the capabilities of the company’s partners. ARM provides dedicated training support.
ARM’s approved design partners, all with different specialities, can help customers at all stages of product development, from design through the entire supply chain. ARM provides hundreds of training courses, specialised training and the design tools.
ARM also has its own chip design service community – called the ARM approved design partner programme, which is run by Joe Hansen. All partners have different specialities and strong skills capabilities such as connectivity, industrial, automotive and others.
ARM has an ecosystem that can help customers to develop their hardware and software, with a variety of resources that can help with chip development. Using the custom SoC customers can get exactly what they want from the silicon, protect their IP, and get to market quicker.
The speakers at the event were ARM design partners Creative chips, Dream chip, Core HW, Hitex, and IMEC ic-link.
Creative Chips are a Germany-based ASIC manufacturing company, creating ASICs and SoCs for a variety of applications such as medical, automotive, consumer and industrial, using IP cores licensed by ARM. Creative Chips speaker, Lutz Porombka, told guests how to create analogue mixed signal SoCs that can significantly reduce BOM cost, and why SoCs bring this advantage.
Dream Chip, another Germany-based company that create ASICs and FPGAs designed for automotive applications and others. The Dream Chip speaker shared key terms for the architecture of Edge processing SoC, challenges, strategies and solutions for this process.
ARM design partner CoreHW, from Finland, specialised in custom RF, analogue and mixed signal IC, IP and ASIC solutions. CoreHW are specialists in RF system architectures, from design to verification. The CoreHW speaker described the ideas that should be considered when building and integrating a complete radio system.
Imec.IC-Link, a division of Imec, enables the ASIC manufacturing chain, and shared its experience about SoC prototypes and production at silicon foundaries. The speaker explained how companies are accessing the foundries’ technologies and shared its experience of how to avoid possible foundry challenges.
The final speaker was Hitex, a UK-based company, that provides embedded technologies in a variety of cases for industrial applications. Hitex, in cooperation with ARM, shared its experience in secure and scalable IoT platforms.
Besides the seminar activity, ARM’s approved partners also exhibited their solutions at the workshop.