editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Assembling an SoC Architecture

Planning an SoC has never been easy. As chip design has moved from mostly-from-scratch design to mostly-IP (even if internal), and as the size of the chip has grown, architectural decisions have to be made with loose back-of-the-envelope estimates, since much of the detailed implementation decisions aren’t made at that point. IP in particular can vary wildly depending on the source. And, while this sounds somewhat less likely, given the strong connections between design houses and foundries, you might even want to have a bake-off between foundries if that is part of the decision process.

A small company called Chip Path launched a site at DAC that allows architects to use a browser-based architecture tool to describe the intended function of a chip, and then map that to different foundries or IP blocks or fundamental platform architectures – SoC, FPGA, etc.

While this probably sounds obvious in the abstract, the details of doing this sort of high-level advanced planning have always been difficult. None of the pieces were originally designed to talk to each other – two identically-functioned (at a high level) IP blocks may have incompatible interfaces, for example. They’ve got what they call a “connection network” – a collection of items that have been designed to interconnect easily. These address the overall SoC interconnect scheme (NoC or fabric); streaming connections; interrupts; memory maps; and reset/control, clock, and power networks.

They have created a number of different “portals” that reflect the different things you might be looking for. Some are multi-vendor, for evaluating different foundries; others are “branded”. The SoC estimation, IP search, and FPGA fitting tools are free; they also sell other tools.

As you might suspect, the company shares roots with ChipEstimate, now owned by Cadence. But today’s problem is more complex than that of ChipEstimate back in the day. At the same time, the metaphor they use for explaining what they’re doing harkens back to something more traditional: building a car. They’re treating an SoC as a similar beast, with a list of components to choose from. This more than anything else reflects the role of IP today; such a component-oriented approach would have made much less sense in the past, when so much had to be created from scratch.

You can find out more in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 5, 2022
By Editorial Team The post Q&A with Luca Amaru, Logic Synthesis Guru and DAC Under-40 Innovators Honoree appeared first on From Silicon To Software....
Jul 1, 2022
We all look for 100% perfection and want to turn our dreams (expectations) into reality as far as we can. Are you also looking for a magic wand to turn expectation into reality? The story applies to... ...
Jun 28, 2022
Watching this video caused me to wander off into the weeds looking at a weird and wonderful collection of wheeled implementations....

featured video

Synopsys 112G Ethernet IP Interoperating with Optical Components & Equalizing E-O-E Link

Sponsored by Synopsys

This OFC 2022 demo features the Synopsys 112G Ethernet IP directly equalizing electrical-optical-electrical (E-O-E) channel and supporting retimer-free CEI-112G linear drive for low-power applications.

Learn More

featured paper

3 key considerations for your next-generation HMI design

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

Human-Machine Interface (HMI) designs are evolving. Learn about three key design considerations for next-generation HMI and find out how low-cost edge AI, power-efficient processing and advanced display capabilities are paving the way for new human-machine interfaces that are smart, easily deployable, and interactive.

Click to read more

featured chalk talk

Twinax Flyover Systems for Next Gen Speeds

Sponsored by Samtec

As the demand for higher and higher speed connectivity increases, we need to look at our interconnect solutions to help solve the design requirements inherent with these kinds of designs. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Matthew Burns from Samtec discuss how Samtec’s Flyover technology is helping solve our high speed connectivity needs. They take closer look at how Samtec’s Flyover technology helps solve the issue with PCB reach, the details of FLYOVER® QSFP SYSTEM, and how this cost effective, high–performance and heat efficient can help you with the challenges of your 56 Gbps bandwidths and beyond design.

Click here for more information about Twinax Flyover® Systems for Next Gen Speeds