Posted: March 25, 2009

Sequans Speeds Tapeout of 65-Nanometer Mobile WiMAX Single Die Baseband Chip With Cadence Low-Power Solution

(Nanowerk News) Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a leader in global electronic design innovation, announced today that Sequans Communications, an industry leader in fixed and mobile WiMAX chipmaker, has used the Cadence® Low-Power Solution to implement innovative power-efficient design techniques into its newest 65-nanometer Mobile WiMAX baseband and RF single die chip, the SQN1210, which was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Sequans' new chip represents another milestone reached in advancing WiMAX technology, as it integrates baseband and triple band RF into a single die, and does not require an external DRAM memory bank, resulting in even more area savings for system integrators. In addition, the chip is capable of operating at 600MHz while still operating with minimal power consumption of less than 350mW, with fully loaded MIMO traffic. During standby mode, the chip's total power drops to less than 0.5mW, leading to prolonged battery life for devices powered by the chip. The Cadence Low-Power Solution contributed to these innovative low power achievements.
Sequans was able to optimize the power by using multi-mode, multi-corner analysis and multi-supply voltages to reduce power consumption by up to 95 percent in power shut-off mode. Total design turnaround time was accelerated by using the Common Power Format (CPF)-enabled flow, which preserves design intent (thereby eliminating painfully slow manual translations), and by calling upon Cadence Design Services for expert advice. Finally, Sequans employed a closed-loop power verification methodology to fully validate the design before tapeout, resulting in first-pass silicon success.
"One of our key is our ultra-low-power consumption," said Laurent Sibony, IC design director of Sequans Communications. "The Cadence Low-Power Solution allowed us to meet and exceed our performance and power targets for this important device. In addition, theCadence Design services organization's commitment to our success played a key role in allowing us to achieve our market window."
The Cadence Low-Power Solution continues its leadership role as a robust solution used in dozens of production tapeouts. Sequans used the complete CPF-enabled Cadence Low-Power Solution for this project, including the Incisive® Enterprise Simulator, Encounter® Conformal® Low Power, Encounter RTL Compiler and Encounter Digital Implementation System. Cadence Design Services provided expertise on physical implementation and signoff power analysis for this design.
Using the integrated signoff power analysis capabilities in the Encounter Digital Implementation System, Cadence Design Services was able to obtain real-time signoff power analysis during implementation, including voltage drop and power switch electrical verification, significantly reducing design turnaround time.
"Sequans' tremendous success is a tribute, in part, to the efficiency of the Cadence Low-Power Solution and the Cadence Design Services team," said Steve Carlson, vice president of Low-Power Solutions at Cadence. "The Sequans tapeout experience demonstrates that the Cadence Low-Power Solution delivers on rigorous power budgets, while improving design efficiency."
Source: Cadence (press release)
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