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Silicon-Proven Building Blocks

Each VCA begins with silicon-proven mixed signal building blocks such as: op-amps, analog to digital converters, digital to analog converters, band gaps, filters, transistor arrays, capacitor arrays, logic, distributed RAM, EEPROM, ROM, and configurable I/O. Analog and digital regions are carefully isolated and shielded to protect sensitive analog circuits. The entire array is then overlaid with a global routing fabric.

Single Mask Configuration

VCA architecture eliminates full-custom layout. The mixed-signal resources are pre-placed along with a global routing fabric. Vias are placed at the intersections of the routing fabric to connect primitives to one another.

VCA - Exploded View
Global Routing Fabric

Mixed Signal Auto Place & Route

Key to the Triad approach is advanced, analog-aware, via-only automatic place and route software that configures and interconnects the entire VCA without the need for manual full-custom layout. In a traditional digital-only ASIC flow, the post-synthesis digital netlist is sent to place and route software. The VCA flow adds the innovative enhancement of also merging the analog SPICE netlist with the digital netlist to create a combined mixed signal netlist representing the primitives and interconnection of the entire device.

The combined mixed signal netlist is automatically placed and routed onto the VCA using the via-only place and route tool eliminating the need for the often time consuming, expensive, and risky process of manual full custom layout.

The output of the via-only place and route tool is a single mask layer that is capable of configuring and interconnecting all the VCA’s resources.

Single Mask Fabrication

This single mask layer, the via layer, is all that is required to convert a VCA into an application specific solution.

Triad develops and characterizes not only the building blocks within a VCA but the entire VCA itself resulting in a much safer and faster way to design a mixed signal ASIC. Via configurable array die are replicated on silicon wafers which are partially processed up to early metal layers and staged at the foundry awaiting configuration by a customer’s unique via layer. Via only fabrication delivers significant benefits to VCA users including:

  • Reduced mask fabrication charges
  • Reduced fabrication time
  • Reduced risk
  • Ability to quickly and easily make changes
  • Support for lower production volumes
Single Mask
Digital

  • Logic from 5K to 1M+ gates
  • Configurable digital I/O
  • 1.8V, 3.3V, 5V+ digital I/O
  • 8051 Mixed Signal Processor
  • USB 1.1 & 2.0
  • IIC, SPI, CAN, LIN

Memory

  • SRAM – 1-Port, 2-Port
  • Via-ROM
  • One Time Programmable (OTP)
  • EEPROM
Analog

  • Op-Amps: Single-Ended, Low-Power, Fully Differential, Wideband
  • Filters: Continuous-Time, Switched Capacitor
  • PLL, Internal Oscillator, Programmable Delay Line
  • Comparators, Multiplexers, Integrators, Temperature Sensor, Band Gap, …

Data Converters

  • Analog to Digital: 8-16 bit, DC to 100 MSPS – Sigma Delta, SAR, Pipelined, Flash
  • Digital to Analog: 6-16 bit, up to 80 MHz – R2R, C2C, Current Steering

High Voltage

  • Operation up to 120V
  • High Voltage Op-Amps
  • Voltage Regulators: Linear, Switching, LDO