zGlue Endless Possibilities

zGlue takes Moore’s Law beyond the possibilities of system-on-chips with custom chips on-demand

Jan. 9, 2019

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—zGlue, Inc., a custom-chips-on-demand company, on Monday released its cloud-based chip design software ChipBuilder, and announced the launch of the industry’s first multi-project 3D-IC prototyping service in partnership with TSMC and ASE, enabling product developers to go from a paper drawing to a manufacturable system in the same business day. zGlue’s end-to-end methodology for accelerated chip building can reduce the total development time from years to weeks, as compared to building traditional System-on-Chips.

ChipBuilder simplifies and streamlines the design process by allowing easy selection and placement of building blocks, called chiplets, on a virtual canvas representing zGlue’s second-generation Smart Fabric™. The building blocks are industry standard components, such as processor, communication, sensor, memory, and battery management chiplets from the world’s leading semiconductor companies. Designers drag and drop different components onto the canvas and immediately see a simulated representation of their chip design, including a 3D model, rendered in real time. Users can customize their schematic to produce a design rule correct system which ChipBuilder automatically routes and optimizes based on zGlue proprietary algorithms guided by hundreds of system-level design and manufacturing rules.

zGlue launches ChipBuilder™ at CES 2019

ChipBuilder goes beyond traditional CAD tools by providing an end-to-end solution from design to manufacturing. Aimed at addressing the needs of product developers without connections to large chip design teams, ChipBuilder enables building hardware to be more like writing software and makes chip-building more accessible.

“We are pleased to partner with zGlue on the first release of their ChipBuilder platform. zGlue’s integration platform allows users to combine our industry leading nRF52832 SoC with other essential building blocks, like sensors and power management, to create tailored integrated solutions (ZiPs) for many market segments within IoT at close to zero development cost,” said Kjetil Holstad, Product Manager at Nordic Semiconductor.

Smart Fabric, the active interposer that manages communication between the selected components, is manufactured by zGlue partner TSMC. The interposer includes power management, system management, clocking, and self-test capabilities in addition to providing the “glue” that holds and connects together the components taken from the ChipBuilder library. Compared to its predecessor, the second-generation Smart Fabric supports 60% lower leakage power, a 4x larger (and growing) range of ChipBuilder library components, and 20% better routing density.

One Chip, Endless Possibilities

Chips designed in ChipBuilder will be quickly manufactured through the zGlue shuttle program, a multi-project prototyping service, which is now available for the first time to customers, and will be ready for high volume manufacturing at ASE when the customer has qualified their prototypes. As part of the shuttle program, ChipBuilder designs can be manufactured within one month and at the cost of thousands of dollars. This compares to traditional methods for custom System-on-Chip production which can take over a year and cost millions of dollars.

“The rapidly expanding IoT market is driving the need for innovative and efficient design solutions for integrating heterogenous devices into virtual SoCs. zGlue’s ChipBuilder has delivered on that promise,” said Mike Hung, senior vice president, ASE. He continued, “As a manufacturing partner, ASE recognizes the value zGlue brings to the ecosystem through technology designed to streamline process and optimize resources, with a view to creating economic and time-to-market advantages for their customers.”

Along with 10 samples of their custom chips, customers will receive a development kit. This kit includes a development board, as well as the firmware and software development environment needed to bring the customers’ products to life. Noted Ming Zhang, CEO of zGlue, “ChipBuilder closed alpha earlier last year with overwhelmingly positive responses. We are extremely excited to introduce ChipBuilder to product designers and developers who need a custom IC solution that allows heterogenous integration of multiple functions, optimized to their specifications, to bring the next great AIoT product to market.”

Chip developers are invited to join zGlue and the ‘Chip Design Revolution’ and participate in the ChipBuilder beta program. Sign up at zGlue’s CES 2019 Booth 45849 or by going to www.zglue.com/ChipBuilder. The ChipBuilder program debuted Tuesday at CES 2019.

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