DALLAS -- Texas Instruments Inc. today announced it is using a 0.13-micron copper CMOS process to fabricate and begin shipments of a 180-million transistor multiprocessor IC for telecom applications, providing more than 200 pulse-code modulation (PCM) channels on a chip.
TI's new TNETV3010 multiprocessor IC integrates six TMS320C55x digital signal processor (DSP) cores, and it has 24 megabits of on-chip SRAM. The Dallas-based company claims the 24-Mbit SRAM block is the highest amount of on-chip memory in the industry.
According to TI, the new multi-processor chip consumes 50 times less power than high-end PC processors produced by Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. And, TI said, the TNETV3010 is almost one-fifth the die size of those leading-edge PC central processing units (CPUs).
The Dallas company said a proprietary memory cell design and other technologies contributed to the scale of on-chip memory in the TNETV3010 multiprocessor device. Last week, during a technology workshop for financial analysts and the press, TI managers described embedded SRAM cells that measured 1.97 micron2 with 0.13-micron (130-nm) processes. TI is targeting 0.97 micron2 cells for six-transistor SRAM designs in 0.09-micron (90-nm) processors.
The company is not currently pursuing one-transistor SRAM technology for future process nodes because TI does not believe the memory technology will be cost effective. Instead, TI focused on embedded ferroelectric RAM for nonvolatile memory applications in processors, starting at the 90-nm node, said Hans Stork, senior vice president and director of silicon technology development (see May 17 Heard on the Beat column).
TI said the high-threshold voltage SRAM cell design in the 0.13-micron process is the most compact in its class. The company said the design enables much larger, lower power memories to be embedded within the area of the chip.
The on-chip SRAM is divided among the TNETV3010's six DSP cores, which take advantage of an innovative multiprocessing architecture to handle communications for over 200 voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) channels, said TI.