News | February 9, 2004

Chartered, Nordic VLSI Offer Suite of High-Performance Mixed-Signal IP

Source: Nordic Semiconductor ASA

Nordic VLSI joins Chartered Express-VCX IP program

Singapore and Trondheim, Norway -- Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and Nordic Semiconductor ASA have silicon proven advanced analog and mixed-signal intellectual property (IP) designs on Chartered's 0.13-micron semiconductor manufacturing platform. Nordic VLSI coordinated its validation efforts through the Chartered Express-VCX IP Partner program to offer IP solutions, which reduce risk and significantly enhance the probability of first-time silicon success for companies integrating Nordic VLSI's IP into SoC designs manufactured at Chartered.

Nordic VLSI is a worldwide fabless semiconductor and IP company specializing in components for wireless communication, mixed signal, complex digital, and analog IC design. The engagement between the two companies involves Nordic VLSI's high-speed data converters, including dual 10-bit analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters operating at 120 MSPS and 400 MSPS, respectively.

"We're very pleased to be working with Nordic VLSI to provide chip designers with more silicon-validated IP choices. Their specialized, high-speed data converters and other analog IP are fundamental building-blocks, and are used in Nordic VLSI's own standard product ICs and in a large number of customers' SoC devices," said Walter Ng, senior director of worldwide design solutions at Chartered. "Now, even more companies can access Nordic VLSI's IP, as well as take full advantage of Chartered's proven 0.13-micron process and open IP manufacturing platform to support the multi-source foundry requirements of their design investments targeted for market expansion and high-volume products."

Nordic VLSI and Chartered initially targeted a subset of IP building blocks that enable a variety of product applications such as broadband communications, TV/video, digital imaging and computer graphics. The first port to Chartered's 0.13-micron CMOS process platform and qualification have been completed with industry benchmark results. Given the successful validation of this foundation IP, Chartered and Nordic VLSI may also explore opportunities for expanding their collaboration toward system-level IP and a wider selection of mixed-signal IP.

"As an IP supplier and developer of turnkey design solutions, it's imperative that IP investments made by Nordic and our customers be leveraged to work in equivalent fashion with multiple pure-play foundries. Chartered understands this and has an IP-friendly approach to customer sourcing needs," said Rune Kvernland, product manager, Intellectual Property at Nordic VLSI. "From our perspective, the Chartered Express-VCX IP program provides a straight-forward process for validating and characterizing high-performance IP on Chartered technologies. We've seen results in very short order that are consistent with other foundry offerings and fulfill our guarantee to customers for high-quality silicon deliverables."

As an IP provider participating in the VCX IP Partner program, Nordic VLSI received from Chartered priority access to mixed-signal product design kits and process wafer runs for prototyping. The Chartered-VCX silicon-hardening effort established requirements for Chartered and Nordic VLSI to jointly monitor IP quality standards, track design practices and design qualification data, and provide updated silicon validation reports and datasheets to reflect actual silicon results. The open VCX portal on Chartered's Web site allows chip designers to easily identify, evaluate and select specific Nordic VLSI IP blocks based on their design requirements.

Source: Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and Nordic VLSI