On June 13, 2013, Cadence announced it had completed the acquisition of the semiconductor IP business of Evatronix SA SKA. So who is Evatronix, and what does their IP business include? At the recent Design Automation Conference (DAC 2013), a Cadence Theater presentation by Jacek Duda, marketing manager at Evatronix, answered those questions.
Based in Poland, Evatronix is a provider of USB, MIPI, display, and storage controller IP, as well as quite a few industry-standard microcontrollers - 8051, 68000, and 80186. Evatronix peripheral controllers, combined with PHYs from Cadence, promise complete interface IP solutions that include controller, PHY, verification IP, and integration kits. Cadence announced its intention to purchase Evatronix's IP business in May 2013.
As Jacek noted, Evatronix was founded in 1991 and sold its first IP - an 8051 controller - in 1995. The company has around 60 employees, mostly engineers. The company has sold over 700 licenses, and 90% of its business is in the ASIC market. Evatronix also offers design services.
Jacek's presentation highlighted the following offerings from the Evatronix IP portfolio.
Evatronix has staked out a strong position in USB-IF certified IP. Offerings include a USB-IF certified USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) device controller and a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 hub, as well as USB-IF certified USB 2.0 controllers for device, hub, and OTG (On The Go). Silicon success for their USB High-Speed Inter-Chip (USB HSIC) solution goes down to 28nm. Evatronix provides software stacks and class libraries with its USB offerings.
NAND Flash IP
Evatronix provides NAND Flash controller IP that comes with a soft PHY or an SDLL PHY and with software drivers. Jacek showed the following diagram of the Evatronix NAND Flash controller. "We decided to keep the data buffers outside the controller," he remarked. "It is, therefore, really small, so it's got a lot of benefits for mobile applications."
Evatronix NAND Flash controller
Features of the NAND Flash controller include:
- Support of memories from all major manufacturers (Toshiba, Micron, Samsung)
- Legacy asynchronous mode
- Synchronous mode support ONFi up to 3.0 (400MT/s) and Toggle Mode 2.0
- Raw NAND and Clear NAND support
- Error correction code (ECC) support for the BCH algorithm up to 128 bits
- Support for small and large block NAND Flash devices
The NAND Flash IP can be customized in a number of ways, including custom sets of programmable error corrections, number of devices per bank, generic command sequence, support for small-block NAND Flash devices, and optional features including bad block management support.
SD Host 4.0
Secure Digital (SD) host IP supports the eMMC 4.51 specification, SD Host Specification version 4.0, the SD Physical Layer Specification 4.0, and the UHS-II Addendum 1.0. Features include a selectable, integrated DMA controller, support for single or multiple SD memory card slots, and UHS-II speed support.
MIPI SLIMbus IP
Evatronix has been providing MIPI SLIMbus IP solutions since 2006, and its Manager and Device controllers are now in their sixth generation, according to Jacek. The architecture for the SLIMbus Device IP (shown below) implements Interface, Generic Device and, optionally, Framer Device classes. The SLIMbus Manager IP implements Interface and Manager classes, with Framer and Generic Device class support being extra features. The Manager also supports message channel monitoring.
Evatronix Slimbus Device IP architecture
8051 Controller IP
Evatronix started its IP business with 8051 controllers and that's still a very strong market, according to Jacek. Three options are available - a configurable 8051, a fast 32-bit 80251, and a small 8051 that takes only 3,000 gates. The company also developed its own proprietary 8051 debugging environment.
Jacek ended his talk by noting the following advantages of Evatronix IP:
In my opinion, this IP will be a worthy addition to the Cadence family. It will complement IP previously acquired from Denali, Tensilica, and Cosmic Circuits, and allow Cadence to provide an even more comprehensive SoC design solution. Welcome Evatronix!