Fabless companies that integrate Sofics IP in their IC designs have been able to reduce their costs spanning across reduced design cost, reduced mask and manufacturing costs, lower risks and reduced time-to-market. Below are examples how this was achieved.
Mask cost reduction
Overall robustness and cost optimization can be driven further by a higher level of solution integration. Sofics’ design team is ready to enhance the functionality of IP blocks with diverse and/or aggressive ESD/EMC/EOS requirements. In one example, a set of I/O’s with increased HBM performance (4 kV HBM) were created. This allowed the customer to focus on their core circuitry, while Sofics designed the pad ring, allowing a shorter design time for the overall product. The I/O library contained digital and several analog I/O’s, including a high voltage pad – with tolerance for high positive and negative voltages (upto +-6V in a 2.5V domain). Also included was the power ESD power protection, busses and filler cells. The fact that Sofics could act as a one-stop-shop by delivering the entire robust pad ring removed much of the integration overhead, and lowered overall costs significantly.
As in all Sofics’ solutions, we strive for a minimal mask set to meet all requirements. In one example, we delivered digital IO’s for 1.8V-3.6V domain using 5V transistors – as was the customers request.