On the threshold of the tenth cycle of the semiconductor industry, SoC Integration is driven to lower power-consumption and higher design-yield, toward which PTC is striving with state-of-the-Art Virtual Components and EDA solutions from DOLPHIN
Princeton Technology Corporation of Taipei, Taiwan and DOLPHIN Integration SA of Meylan, France are disclosing their series of licensing agreements, which illustrates a drastic market trend: the excellent health and emergence of the Asia-Pacific region, which has become, through its 29 % growth, the worldwide first market, even before the United States, with its more than 36 % of market share.
A consistent matching of needs and offers
Building on a successful alliance with PTC starting with its low-power and high-density ROM generator, followed by its flagship 90 dB ADC for audio applications, DOLPHIN today strengthened its relationship with PTC with a new license agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, PTC has licensed DOLPHIN’s low-cost and low-power 8051 for building its microcontroller product line. Whereas other suppliers promote an 8051 with less clock-cycles per instruction while increasing the gate count, DOLPHIN has focused on delivering clock and power management features achieving amazingly low-power for a small gate count.
On top of that, the company is partnering with suppliers of popular development tools, also benefiting from DOLPHIN’s patent for innovative hardware emulation. It paves the way to the natural next step concerning electronic simulator SMASH.
Excellence for the design industry
In the supply chain of the microelectronics industry, design has become strategic, and both parties are premier actors at their own level: SoC Integration for PTC and Virtual Component Provider for DOLPHIN.
Truly, the Asia-Pacific region is demonstrating a generous creativity capable of triggering growth, but those actors only who have the most invested in innovation over the last years, as PTC and DOLPHIN have, shall benefit from the situation.
Both PTC and DOLPHIN have demonstrated their daringness and resilience to turmoil by entering their regional stock-markets in December 2001 and March 2003 respectively.
In the midst of the deverticalization of the semiconductor industry, such complementarity of a FabLess Supplier like PTC, and a Provider of silicon Intellectual Property is the paradigm of the new world. “Our challenge, expresses Director for Orient Frederic Renoux, is to be the Mixed Signal SoC Enabler for a diversity of FabLess suppliers, by taking advantage that components of IP are virtual, for stimulating our users’ product differentiation around a small number of cores, while ensuring design productivity”.
MP3 applications and standard microprocessors
PTC has a track-record of groundbreaking Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Chips. They have turned it into one of the first five companies in the world to develop and release an Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) IC for consumer electronic applications. Compared to MP3, AAC offers higher quality audio reproduction while requiring 30 % less data storage. You may read more about this exciting new technology at Dolby Laboratories’ AAC website.
The PT8402 is a single chip audio decoder compatible with all MPEG1, MPEG2 and MPEG2.5 (i.e. MP3) sampling frequencies. The chip includes a high performance 16-bit D/A converter with headphone driver and has built-in digital equalizer control, bass booster and 3D sound.
Lately PTC has announced the release of its latest MP3 Decoder, the PT8401, and obviously there is now more and better to follow. Such highly functional Integrated Circuits have a wide range of applications, including: Portable MP3 Players, Voice Recorders, Car Audio, Mini Component Systems, CD-MP3 Audio Systems, PDAs with MP3 functions.
“We were convinced by the performance and quality of DOLPHIN’s embedded memories, most power-stingy” said PTC VP of Engineering Marshall Lee”, but their offering of a practical and low-cost development tool is instrumental for spreading our products efficiently in a world and at a time where old habits do not survive”.
DOLPHIN’s COO, Jean-François Pollet adds, “We are quite proud of serving properly the needs of such leaders as PTC, after many years of preparation of high performance low-power solutions for this time which was bound to come. We believe that the right combination of State-of-the-Art Virtual Components and of market vision for consumer products, shall pave the way to squeezing even more performance out of as little silicon as possible, to the benefit of our markets”.
A roadmap forever
Neither party intends to stop there, but the long history of design wins by DOLPHIN in the field of low-power and high-resolution Audio was a mandatory proof of technical prowess and of proper marketing savvy. DOLPHIN could meet diverse but consistent needs of a customer of the future as PTC proves to be, thanks to the availability of appropriate “Virtual System Kits”.
Each Virtual Component has a future in its own right and may partake in several kits; for instance the same 8 bit microprocessor optimal for control today, is the best choice as long as it is endowed with an audio signal processing extension for the next generation.
About Princeton Technology Corporation
Established in 1986 in Taiwan as a FabLess IC design house, PTC has become a worldwide leader in consumer IC’s, esp. in multi-media audio processor, display driver, home appliances remote control, encoder and decoder. It was awarded the ISO-9001 label in March 2001.
PTC’s focus is on applying core technologies to consumer multi-media products in contrast with the low-margin computer segment, and concentrating first on China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and S. Korea.
Remarkably in the Echo and VFD display driver for DVD/VCD applications PTC holds about 70 % market share in China, which accounts for more than 70 % of the global market.
To learn more about Princeton and its products and services, visit the company’s Web site at www.princeton.com
About DOLPHIN Integration
Provider of Logic, Analog and Memory Virtual Components, within its FLIP line of Intellectual Property, focusing on low power-consumption, the DOLPHIN Group focuses on helping customers meet the challenge of Time-To-Fab for their Systems-on-Chip, with a quality control leading reliably to success on first silicon with state-of-the-art features.
Design and support services range from turnkey development to delegation of consulting engineers for customers wanting efficient insertion of virtual components into their designs.
All CMOS processes – bulk or SOI – are targeted from 0.6 µm down to 130 nm, with a safe and powerful technique for multi-foundry retargeting.
The MEDAL line of “Missing EDA Links” enables the “Virtual Fab” approach: it encompasses standard Virtual SoCKET™ Streamer for hierarchical SoC Integration per VSIA guidelines, in complement of the “Virtual Test” offering on mixed signal simulator SMASH. Leader in multi-lingual modeling, it goes as far as Virtual Yield assessment of design, dynamic Specification Rules Checking, and codesign for Virtual Testbenches.