With so much news from our industry every day, a recent announcement from one of our new partners may have passed you by - but it’s an important one that I’d like to share a bit more about.
BaySand are a rapidly growing company with teams in Silicon Valley, Malaysia, and China, and they have been flying the flag of custom silicon with a level of accessibility that will surprise many people.
BaySand are one of our most recent licensees of Arm Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processors through the Arm DesignStart Pro program. DesignStart is revolutionary in that it offers industry-proven processors that power literally billions of products – and these processors are now available for no upfront fee. BaySand have embraced that program, taking an initial license, and building up the internal expertise on the processors and the Arm CoreLink SDK-100 subsystem that is included. They can offer a full range of design services around the subsystems, so contact Avi at BaySand if you would like to explore what’s possible.
What’s really interesting to me, though, is not only BaySand’s adoption and endorsement of Arm, but also the capabilities and accessibility of their technology. They’ve developed a very worthy successor to the traditional gate array approach called Metal Configurable Standard Cell (MCSC). It gives much of the benefits of a fully custom design, but using standard cells, and with the rapid time to market and reduced costs of a wafer that only needs to change the metal layers.
Another market area they are really embracing is cost-optimised conversions of SoC FPGAs. The demand for this is growing, particularly in the important industrial embedded markets, in countries such as Japan. FPGAs have rapidly become popular in embedded systems that need high-performance processors alongside configurable logic, and for many they provide an invaluable prototyping and initial production route to market that then embraces a full custom chip.
What’s also not often understood is the practical volumes for a custom device can be as low as tens of thousands of units - and for even lower volumes, shuttles can be used.
The ability to do a very quick, minimal risk and low-NRE full custom device from a market-proven product, powered by an SoC FPGA, opens up many possibilities for cost and power improvements.
ASICs have never been more accessible to OEMs, and by working with Arm, BaySand is pushing what is possible even further.
Find out how Arm DesignStart can help you get to market faster, with industry-leading processor and system IP for no upfront license fee.
Register for Arm DesignStart