SAN JOSE, Calif. - Cadence Design Systems Inc. claims that it is first to market with a licensable, wide I/O memory controller core.
''The Cadence wide I/O interface goes beyond the proposed low-power metrics of the standard, offering additional power-saving features such as 'traffic sensing,' which automatically adjusts the power consumption based on the type of traffic,'' according to the EDA house. ''The IP has been designed to support operation at multiple frequencies, and allows designers to implement advanced power-control techniques, such as dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), to reduce power even further, according to Cadence.''
Wide I/O, a memory interface standard in review at JEDEC, defines a 512-bit wide interface to increase the bandwidth between memory and logic. The interface operates at a peak data transfer rate of 12.8 gigabytes per second (GB/s), which is up to four times the performance of conventional low-power memory solutions.
The wide I/O interface allows a large array of low-cost and low-power connections between an application processor and the DRAM stacked on top of it. The result is a system that can achieve higher bandwidth with less power while also meeting the goals of reduced PCB area and component height. As a result, it is critical that designers also have access to advanced 3D IC assembly and design methodologies.
The Cadence 3D IC platform includes advanced capabilities, such as support for through-silicon vias (TSVs), to enable the use of vertical electrical connections for significantly reduced board space, cost and power.
The Cadence wide I/O memory controller is available now.
For years, chip makers have been talking about 3-D chips based on TSVs. But except for select products—such as CMOS image sensors—the technology has not moved into the mainstream, due to costs, lack of standards and other factors.
Now, chip makers may have identified a new device vehicle that could propel TSV-based 3-D chips into the mainstream: a wide I/O DRAM for cell phones and related products. One group is seeking to accelerate this technology into the marketplace. Recently, Sematech, SIA, and SRC announced a program to drive industry standardization and the technical specifications for heterogeneous 3-D integration.
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