On The Move


Achieving Silicon bring up Success

Several years ago I used to work for a company called Information Storage Devices (ISD) which was acquired by Winbond and today is known by the name Nuvoton.

At those days I was working with an excellent team of engineers that brought to market an innovative SoC integrating Microprocessor, digital memory, analog storage and a variety of mixed-signal components. All these pieces were delivering the first single chip Text-to-Speech IC to the market. If you want to read more how it works, read this EETimes article.

When the first wafers arrived there was a company-wide excitement and the leading engineers worked around the clock to test the device and reach first conclusions. One of the VP’s was in the lab all the time, actually standing behind the lead chip architect and observing every move and reaction. Like the future of the company relies on the results which was actually the case.

If that was the case in the early 21st century it is even more so these days.

Time to market is important, now more than ever and in the rapidly changing mobile markets more than in others. Making sure your chip works first time is a very challenging task therefore designers and management employs many ways to mitigate these risks. Some of them relate to SoC prototyping and building a platform that once the SoC comes out of fab, tested and packaged you could exercise its main functions and create a reference design for customers to use and develop their system.

This is why I thought this silicon bring up story from Freescale is interesting. Per the claims made by the i.MX 6 product line manager silicon bring was done in a week or two and allowed to showcase the prototype board and send to potential customers.

Rapid silicon bring up success can be attributed to great execution and risk reduction management. There are many things their engineering team employed to reach to that result but it is impressive to see the SoC working first time.
Here’s a video showcasing the Freescale i.MX 6 Quad-core reference design at FTF 2011:

The Freescale i.MX6 series Quad-core SoC uses the MIPI DSI and MIPI CSI-2 interfaces.

Let me know if you find some more MIPI-enabled products (semiconductors, electronics, etc) so we can take a look.

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