Press releases

Mentor Graphics helps eoSemi to solve the challenge of silicon oscillator design

Congleton, UK, 14 May 2012: eoSemi and Mentor Graphics (NASDAQ: MENT) today announced that the Pyxis Custom Design environment, Eldo simulator and Calibre tools have been used in the design and verification of eoSemi’s recently-announced ATOC™ (Accurate Timing Oscillator Circuit) silicon oscillator products.

ATOC (Accurate Timing Oscillator Circuit) oscillators are all-CMOS silicon replacements for quartz crystals. By saving space, increasing reliability and reducing costs, they allow designers to build consumer electronic products that are more compact, offer more features and deliver superior battery life. In addition, because they are manufactured with standard semiconductor processing technologies, they can in the future be integrated quickly and easily within a larger device or a printed circuit substrate.

“Mentor has supported us from the outset via its Terms for Start-Ups program and its involvement with the European Microelectronics Academy,” said Adrian Bratt, eoSemi’s VP of Engineering. “Access to world class design tools is vital for a business taking its first steps, particularly in a specialist area such as analog and mixed-signal design. Our relationship with Mentor has been instrumental in bringing the first wave of ATOC products from engineering to productization.”

eoSemi used the Pyxis Custom Design environment, the ELDO SPICE accurate circuit simulator and the Calibre LVS/DRC (layout versus schematic and design rule checking) tools in the design of its first ATOC products, which are currently sampling to qualified customers. The company delivered ATOC significantly ahead of plan, and industry analysts have commented on the speed with which the eoSemi team has developed its products.

“Engineering an all-silicon oscillator is one of the big challenges for mixed signal designers in standard CMOS,” said Robert Hum, VP & GM Deep Submicron Design at Mentor. “In fact, semiconductor and system houses have wrestled with the problem for years, without success. We’re proud that eoSemi has been able to use the flexibility of the Pyxis Custom Design environment, the speed and accuracy of the Eldo simulator, coupled with fast, hierarchical verification via Calibre, to finally solve such a tough problem.”

ATOC includes proprietary techniques to sense and compensate for the effects of temperature and physical stress within the device. The oscillator’s output frequency can be tuned both instantaneously in real-time, and over the lifetime of the device. The first ATOC product is aimed at the $800M market for 32kHz timing references in consumer products. It draws just 8µA of supply current in active mode, and delivers accuracy down to ±30ppm with an operating temperature range of -40 to +85°C.

Media contacts

PR agency contact
Janice Fenton,
Publitek Technology PR
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 470000

eoSemi contact for more information
Tel: +44 (0) 1260 285880