Synopsys, ARM Team with IBM, Others in Mobile SoC Design

Synopsys is bringing its system-on-a-chip design tools to a partnership that already includes IBM, Chartered, Samsung and ARM to reduce the cost, speed up time to market and lower risk for manufacturers looking to build 32/28-nm SoC solutions for advanced mobile Internet devices. The group is showing off the first results from test chips at the DAC show in San Francisco.

Attendees at the Design Automation Conference are getting a glance at the first fruits of a collaboration aimed at creating a comprehensive solution for the design and manufacturing of mobile Internet devices.

At the DAC show July 27 in San Francisco, the three companies that make up The Common Platform group-IBM, Samsung and Chartered Semiconductor-ARM and Synopsys announced an alliance that they say will result in more advanced mobile devices hitting the market more quickly.

The group is showing off the results from test chips at the DAC show, which runs July 26-31.

That will be done through the development of a complete design process that takes something from each of the parties, according to officials with the partnering vendors.

The key is the addition of Synopsys to the alliance, Kevin Meyer, vice president of industry marketing and platform alliances at Chartered, said during a press conference at the show. Synopsys offers tools for design flows through its Galaxy Implementation Platform, Lynx Design System and DesignWare connectivity IP that officials say can reduce the cost of developing an SoC (system-on-a-chip) for manufacturers while increasing the time to market and reducing risk.

Given the complexities at the 32/28-nanometer manufacturing level, "we need to have to be able to provide proven SoCs for handheld Internet-ready devices much sooner than with earlier process nodes," Meyer said.

The partnership brings together ARM's processor capabilities for mobile devices, the 32-/28-nm high-k metal gate foundry process developed by The Common Platform alliance, which deals with low power and low leakage in chips, and the Synopsys' design tools.

Tom Lantzsch, vice president of marketing for ARM's Physical IP Division, said the group hopes to have products created through the partnership into the hands of consumers and businesses sometime in 2011. ARM has been working with The Common Platform group for 18 months, and the addition of Synopsys to the effort will speed up the process, Lantzsch said.