Sondrel launches standardized modules to further accelerate the ASIC design process

Explore new uses of IP module encapsulators and create interchangeable standardized modules

Sondrel revealed that the company can make efficient and precise adjustments and modifications to the design based on the ASIC design requirements proposed by the customer and through the recently launched architecture future IP platform series. All this benefits from Sondrel’s innovative Scalable Architecture Framework (SAF), which is the basis for all platforms. The SAF framework uses reusable, modular IP modules, and each IP module has a packager that contains a set of standardized functions and interfaces. The future IP platform of each architecture is constructed after assembling the required modules according to the performance and functional requirements of a specific application area.

Sondrel launches standardized modules to further accelerate the ASIC design process

Understand the slice architecture through three slice diagrams

Rowan Naylor, Chief System Architect at Sondrel, explained: “It’s like building blocks connected by standardized studs that are directly connected to the core underlying architecture. Now, modules of different sizes and types can be adjusted and exchanged in the underlying architecture. Build new modules instead of starting from scratch and redesigning as usual. This is because Sondrel has created a set of configurable interfaces for wrappers that can take advantage of supporting functions and services such as clock reset and power management , Encapsulate each module, so whether it’s interconnecting or relocating it, it’s more trouble-free. With the support of this standard, Sondrel can quickly create one based on any IP provided by the customer or a third party Wrapper.

Sondrel CEO Graham Curren added: “Although the re-use of IP is nothing new, it is always very complicated in actual implementation, because there is no universal IP module interface standard, so you have to spend time designing each Customized IP module interface. Sondrel’s business involves various application fields, which makes it occupy a unique perspective in the industry and discovered a new way to improve efficiency: If the IP module has a standardized interface, it can be Reuse to achieve cross-domain applications. For this reason, Sondrel created and launched an extensible architecture framework to modularize standard interfaces, which provides Sondrel with a fast and efficient way to reuse IP modules, and You can also add and change modules as needed. For example, in a previous project, Sondrel reduced the ASIC design time by a full 6 months by using this new method.

Sondrel uses the SAF framework to create the top five platforms for the future IP platform series. According to the design, these platforms almost have everything needed for ASIC solutions for a specific application area. With this standardized module method, Sondrel can determine a suitable IP platform at the initial stage of a customer’s new project, and select more computing modules from its module library to add to improve performance, or add corresponding functions according to the required functions. Module to create a customized version of the solution. Once the IP provided by a third party or customer is packaged, it can be added to the design through a similar approach. In general, SAF provides Sondrel with an efficient way to quickly assemble solutions for customers, greatly reduce design time, and save design costs for customers, and at the same time greatly increase the speed of products to market.

Graham Curren added: “We believe that Sondrel is the first company to create such a framework, which can design IP into standardized modules to achieve efficient and convenient reuse. Many people have tried this in the past. I do, but I believe that Sondrel is the first company to do this successfully, and the solutions it develops on this basis can be easily applied to many different application areas.”

Graham Curren concluded: “In the design process, this “module”-based approach is particularly effective when ASIC specifications are partially changed. This is because as the project progresses, customers often further refine their requirements. Usually, In other words, the specification change may mean that the design needs to be restarted to include new functions or additional computing power, but now, with the support of SAF, it is only necessary to add or delete these modules in the underlying architecture. For customers In general, this will save a lot of time and money; for Sondrel, this is the driving force that supports its “architectural future” ASIC design.”

technical details

The basis of the SAF framework is the “underlying architecture”, which encapsulates the basic services and resources required in the application category, that is, the transmission structure (on-chip network/network interface), system memory, power-clock-reset domain, and system management ( Startup, configuration, functional safety (FuSa) and general application management functions). Through the underlying architecture, all IP modules can be connected and communicated with each other to ensure its easy integration and rearrangement characteristics, which is very different from traditional design methods. The traditional design method requires the direct connection of different modules. In this case, once any changes occur, the plan needs to be overturned and the design is restarted from the beginning.

Since the underlying architecture is a typical special structure in the system, Sondrel’s modeling process is widely used to dimension and configure the bus structure and storage subsystem of the underlying architecture. The modeling process also covers how to divide data processing requirements on multiple heterogeneous processing slices according to each operating mode to cope with power and performance constraints. The SAF framework can then ensure integration in a reliable and predictable manner.

These modules are equivalent to the calculation and IO functions (CPU, DSP, PCIe, etc.) built in the “slice”-based subsystem. Each slice is equipped with standard services and interfaces to realize intercommunication, synchronization and communication. This method can improve performance by increasing the number of slices used. For example, generally speaking, using three identical slices can increase the computing power by a factor of three. Similarly, by inserting appropriate module slices in the underlying architecture, additional functions can be easily integrated. Since all the slices in the library have been tested and verified in advance, the use of these slices can shorten the cycle of the entire project and reduce the risk of the project.

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