News – 2007.12.11

STMicroelectronics Acquires Genesis Microchip
STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) and Genesis Microchip Inc. (NASDAQ:GNSS) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for STMicroelectronics to acquire Genesis Microchip. The acquisition confirms STMicroelectronics as a leading System-on-Chip (SoC) technology provider to the rapidly growing digital television and display markets.

UMC Announces DFM Design Enablement Kit for 65nm Process
UMC (NYSE:UMC)(TSE:2303), a leading global semiconductor foundry, announced the release of its comprehensive all-in-one 65nm design for manufacturing (DFM) support package. The new DFM Design Enablement Kit (DEK) encompasses all the models required by qualified model-based DFM tools that support UMC’s 65nm process technology. The company collaborated with leading EDA vendors to develop the DEK in order to provide an easy to use DFM solution for its 65nm customers.

Wind River Workbench 3.0, On-Chip Debugging Shorten Design Cycles
Wind River Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:WIND), the global leader in Device Software Optimization (DSO), announced the upcoming availability of Wind River Workbench® 3.0, On-Chip Debugging, the company’s comprehensive JTAG embedded device development toolset for mitigating the complexities of on-chip debugging. Wind River Workbench, On-Chip Debugging includes support for key new processors in the mobile device market and introduces new enhancements designed to make device hardware and software development and debug simpler and more intuitive. Mobile device manufacturers can now leverage these new enhancements and existing Linux debugging capabilities to shorten design cycles and make effective use of their time to differentiate at the application layer.

Synopsys, Altera, TSMC Team on Star-RCXT Extraction for 45nm Process
Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNPS), a world leader in software and IP for semiconductor design and manufacturing, announced the qualification and immediate availability of the Synopsys Star-RCXT(TM) parasitic extraction solution for TSMC’s 45-nanometer (nm) process technology. This qualification is the result of collaboration between Synopsys, Altera and TSMC to develop and silicon-validate advanced modeling of key process variation effects that impact the performance of digital, analog and memory circuits. Altera, a pioneer in programmable logic, is now deploying Synopsys’ Star-RCXT as the preferred extraction tool for its 45-nm design sign-off flow.

NEC Creates Microcomputer, OS Platform for Automotive Information System
NEC Corporation and NEC Electronics Corporation have completed development of prototypes for a system LSI chip and operating systems (OS) that will serve as the platform for next-generation automotive information systems. The system LSI chip and OS were developed in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corp., Aishin AW Co., Ltd., and Denso Corp., and capitalizes on synergies between NEC’s software expertise and NEC Electronics’ device technologies.

Mentor Introduces Precision Synthesis Combined with Xilinx SmartGuide
Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) announced that its Precision® Synthesis solution, combined with Xilinx® SmartGuide(TM) technology, results in significant design time savings. Test results conducted jointly over the past twelve months using Mentor’s Precision Synthesis tool and the Xilinx SmartGuide functionality show that users saved an average of 40% in mapping and place-and-route (P&R) time. The combined solution preserves unchanged portions of the design when making small changes, reducing overall design iteration time. Tests performed at Xilinx show that over 97% of the components went unchanged and quality of results (QoR) was maintained in the process. These results have also been verified by mutual customers.

Zilog Debuts Z8 Encore! XP F1680 1.8V Low Power, Flash Microcontroller
Zilog(R) (Nasdaq: ZILG) a leading provider of 8-, 16- and 32-bit embedded Flash microcontrollers, universal remote control and ARM(R) core-based solutions announced its first 1.8V low power, 8-bit embedded flash microcontroller (MCU) with extended peripherals. Designated the Z8 Encore! XP(R) F1680 Series, the new single chip solution is based on Zilog’s award-winning eZ8(TM) CPU core. By providing customers a rich set of analog and digital peripherals, multiple flash memory configurations up to 24KB and a low bill of materials (BOM) cost, the new F1680 Series offers Zilog customers the best cost/performance solution of any 8-bit mixed mode Flash MCU for a variety of applications, particularly capacitive and resistive sensing, touch screen functionality, gas and fire detection, security systems and portable medical and instrumentation.

IMEC Improves Hafnium High-k Dielectrics, Tantalum-Carbide Metal Gates
IMEC reports significant progress in improving the performance of planar CMOS using hafnium-based high-k dielectrics and tantalum-carbide metal gates targeting the 32nm CMOS node. Low threshold voltage (Vt) is achieved by applying a thin dielectric cap between the gate dielectric and metal gate. In addition, the use of laser-only annealing for gate stack engineering resulted in a significant reduction of the minimum sustainable gate length and improved short-channel effect control. The same processes were applied on FinFETs and resulted in a possible candidate technology for the 22nm node.

Ramtron Introduces FM25040A-GA Grade 1 Automotive F-RAM Memory Device
Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (F-RAM) and integrated semiconductor products, has added another 4 kilobit (Kb) F-RAM memory device to its Grade 1 AEC-Q100-qualified automotive product line, growing its number of +125ºC parts to five. The FM25040A-GA – a 4Kb, 5V F-RAM with a high-speed serial peripheral interface (SPI) – is now specified to operate at +125ºC and is guaranteed to retain data for 9,000 hours at that extreme temperature.

VaST Metrix Function Analyzer Facilitates Software Profiling
VaST Systems, the leader in electronics virtualization, announced the release of a function analyzer to its Metrix analysis tool. The new capability provides accurate profiling capabilities for target software executing on processors within a virtual system prototype. Accurate profiling and tuning often requires the execution of billions of simulation cycles and contemporary techniques are too slow to allow thorough profiling. Metrix allows software and system developers to consider exact execution costs to efficiently tune and optimize software.

Gartner Ranks Altera Nios II Soft Processor Core First
Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced its Nios® II processor core is the FPGA industry’s most widely used soft processor based on design starts, as confirmed by the market research firm Gartner in its most recent report “Market Trends: ASIC Design Starts 2007.” Altera’s Nios II processor core is a configurable, 32-bit FPGA-based soft microprocessor that is used in a wide variety of applications and end markets such as wireline, broadcast, military, wireless, automotive, and consumer.

Dolby Selects Virtex-4 SX FPGA Chipset for LED-Backlit LCD Display
Xilinx Inc., (Nasdaq: XLNX) announced that its Virtex(TM)-4 SX field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) chipsets have been approved for Dolby Laboratories, Inc.’s (NYSE: DLB) recent high dynamic range (HDR) innovations. Dolby joins a growing number of industry leaders leveraging the Xilinx high-performance XtremeDSP(TM) solutions to introduce innovative technologies.