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Posted: Nov 06, 2012

Cadence Encounter Technologies Enable Open-Silicon to Reach 2.2 GHz Performance on 28nm ARM Dual-Core Cortex-A9 Processor

(Nanowerk News) Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a leader in global electronic design innovation, today announced that Open-Silicon, Inc., a leading semiconductor design and manufacturing company, has leveraged the latest innovations from the Cadence® Encounter® RTL-to-signoff flow to achieve 2.2 GHz performance on a 28-nanometer hardening of an ARM® dual-core Cortex™-A9 processor.
Open-Silicon used the latest Encounter digital RTL-to-signoff products for the processor core which is targeted for mobile computing applications, including RTL Compiler-Physical (RC-Physical) and Encounter Digital Implementation (EDI) System. EDI System features advanced GigaOpt optimization and Clock Current Optimization (CCOpt) technologies, which, together with RC-Physical, helped reduce the design area by 10 percent, clock tree power by 33 percent and overall leakage power by 27 percent compared to a prior flow, while accelerating design closure by two weeks.
Open-Silicon's chips go into leading-edge products where power, performance, and area (PPA), and time-to-parts are paramount. Open-Silicon's extensive experience with processor implementations across many verticals, including networking/telecom, storage and computing, enables turnkey ARM technology-based SoC design. By leveraging the Center of Excellence (CoE) for ARM Technology-based Designs at Open-Silicon and Cadence optimized RTL-to-signoff flows, customers are now able to achieve market-differentiating performance and power efficiencies in their ARM technology-based products.
"Improving designer productivity and time-to-market are absolutely critical to Open-Silicon's rapid execution of SoC development. The predictability of the Cadence RTL-to-Sign-off flow, which includes excellent convergence from RC-Physical to EDI System and Encounter Timing System (ETS) for sign-off, has enhanced Open-Silicon's competitive advantage in delivering industry-leading ARM processor-based SoC designs," said Taher Madraswala, senior vice president of engineering at Open-Silicon. "Achieving 2.2 GHz under typical conditions on the ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 processor at advanced nodes and in a short turn-around time is a testament to Open-Silicon and Cadence's capabilities and collaborative efforts. The PPA and runtime improvement as a result of adopting Encounter GigaOpt and CCOpt technologies in our CoE chip design flows is a real game changer."
The Cadence Encounter RTL-to-signoff flow has been significantly optimized for ARM processor-based design, helping design teams optimize PPA for the world's most advanced high-performance, and power efficient designs. The flow includes Encounter RC-Physical, EDI System, and signoff-proven Cadence QRC Extraction, and ETS. The new GigaOpt technology inside EDI System produces high-quality results faster than traditional optimization engines by harnessing the power of multiple CPUs. In addition, the integrated CCOpt technology unifies clock tree synthesis with logic/physical optimization resulting in significant PPA improvements.
As a result of this success, Open-Silicon has standardized on the Encounter RTL-to-signoff flow in its CoE for hardening high-performance ARM technology-based SoCs.
"We congratulate Open-Silicon on this significant achievement, and thank them for partnering with Cadence to optimize PPA for the world's most sophisticated and complex ARM processor-based designs," said Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, senior vice president, research and development, Silicon Realization Group at Cadence. "In collaboration with our partners, Cadence is focused intently on enabling customers to implement high-performance processors that power many of today's popular electronic products."
About Cadence
Cadence enables global electronic design innovation and plays an essential role in the creation of today's integrated circuits and electronics. Customers use Cadence software, hardware, IP, and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with sales offices, design centers, and research facilities around the world to serve the global electronics industry. More information about the company, its products, and services is available at www.cadence.com.
Source: Cadence (press release)

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