Contract Design and Manufacturing Services

Intel Foundry Gains Indian Chip Design Service

21 August 2014

SmartPlay Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Bangalore, India) has announced that it has been providing services in the areas of digital, analog chip design, wireless software and system design to customers of Intel Custom Foundry. It has offered these services on both 22nm and 14nm FinFET manufacturing processes, the company said.

SmartPlay was founded in 2008 and has grown to more than 1,100 employees and has design centers in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Noida, Chennai, Singapore, San Jose, San Diego and Austin. In 2012, when the company had 750 employees, it was credited with being the second-largest VLSI design services team in India.

SmartPlay has been working with Intel Custom Foundry for three years and delivered several projects. These have included a test-chip development platform, DDR3 and DDR4 physical interface circuit verification and the layout of analog circuits as well as participation in various customer tape-outs on Intel Custom Foundry’s 22nm and 14nm platforms.

SmartPlay is going to provide SoC implementation services ranging from the RTL and netlist level down to GDSII.

This could put SmartPlay in a similar relationship to Intel Custom Foundry as that enjoyed by Global Unichip Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) in relation to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu. Taiwan). Many fabless chip companies are ready and able to develop chips down to the RTL, often with a number of imported IP blocks, and the netlist level but prefer to outsource the detailed business of turning that logic into masks that can be optimized in various ways for yield.

That design work proceeds best with considerable experience of the process and foundry and has therefore become a suitable case for outsourcing to specialists.

"The increasing complexity, interface, and functionality of SoCs have brought about many challenges in building highly-integrated systems. SmartPlay’s design services are aimed at enabling companies to reduce time-to-market, increase efficiency and perform better and faster," said Pradeep Vajram, CEO of SmartPlay, in a statement.

"We have enjoyed a strong collaborative relationship with SmartPlay for the past three years, allowing us to rapidly ramp and optimize our development platforms on our 22nm and 14nm technologies,: said Ali Farhang, director of design and enablement services at Intel Custom Foundry, in the same statement. "SmartPlay has become a key design service provider in our ecosystem, and we look forward to continuing this collaboration to accelerate our customers’ time to market using Intel's leading-edge silicon manufacturing technologies."

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