A recent large area (>500mmsq) chip project completed using the tools and techniques incorporated into Helium 8 produced a dynamic power saving of 20% over the design-ready flow provided by the EDA vendor, as well as achieving a significant reduction of the leakage power through the design of multi-voltage and supply island groups. The project was such a success that the design was completed ahead of time and 20% below budget. The twelve man Sondrel team led by Stephane Cauneau completed the task inside six months to the delight of the customer.
Helium 8 deploys toolbox functions and pre-shaped flow examples that are optimized for various EDA flows, library vendors, and technology nodes (down to 14nm). The project manager can easily configure the project flow for different activities such as core hardening, complex multi-voltage SoC, or large hierarchical projects. Helium provides a set of easy naming conventions, project directories system, documentation, training and labs, so that every engineer is able to work on the system.
Kevin Steptoe, VP Engineering ….’ The Helium 8 framework is currently supporting the execution of two major projects in 16nm FinFet, reaching 1.2Ghz at 0.72V. The environment works with a combination of tools, from Synopsys, Mentor Graphics and Ansys, and it is supporting advanced techniques like P-OCV, signal EM automatic fixing, ESD analysis with Calibre PERC”.
Graham Curren, CEO of Sondrel, commented “Sondrel is noted for the high quality of its engineering and we invest heavily to ensure that status. Last year alone we invested over $2M and H8 is the culmination of a long program built up from our teams combined experience, gained in 10 years of Helium product development. Through the implementation of this flow we continue to give our customers quality, clarity and measurability regardless of the size and location of the engineering time, and regardless of the complexity and size of the chip. Our customer, who cannot be named for reasons of confidentiality, said ‘We are delighted with the performance of our design and impressed by Helium 8.’
Success through Partnership is the philosophy of Sondrel, one of the world’s leading system-to-silicon IC consultancies. For Sondrel, Partnership means sharing the responsibility to get a project done for the mutual benefit of all parties – customer, design house, foundries and tools & IP providers. Established in 2002, Sondrel has the largest and most experienced consulting team in Europe, with wide ranging expertise across all aspects of the design flow and all industry-standard EDA tool suits. The company’s capabilities cover the entire IC design spectrum from RTL design, though verification, emulation and DFT to physical implementation, and include power analysis and yield management. Sondrel is experienced in highly-complex digital, mixed signal, analogue, low power and wireless designs having completed over 200 designs at a range of process geometries down to 14nm, all of which were delivered right first time. With offices in the UK, USA, France, Italy, Israel, Sweden, Finland and China, Sondrel provides flexible services and methodology consulting to many of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, enabling them to improve chip performance and reduce timescales and costs.