Tehuti Networks’ new 10GbE controller, the TN4010, integrates an 8kb OTP NVM from Kilopass Technology Inc. The physical design of the TN4010––from register transfer level (RTL) code to a GDSII file––was performed successfully by Uniquify. A collaborative partnership between the two companies enabled the project to be divided between the RTL code from Tehuti and the SoC physical implementation by Uniquify. Uniquify sourced, qualified and integrated IP from two third-party vendors into the design, including PCIe and Xaui SERDES and a phase-locked loop (PLL) customized to meet Tehuti’s requirements.
Once Tehuti Networks’ Israeli team had verified its RTL code, it handed off the project to Uniquify, which was able to successfully implement the physical design of Tehuti’s low-power, low-cost 10Gb Ethernet controller chip in under two weeks.
Tehuti’s design challenges were not insignificant. The Uniquify design team credits Perseus, its automated, internally developed SoC design management system, for its analysis capabilities run at project start for more consistent and predictable design closure. The system also ensured that the Uniquify team could meet the tight design schedule set by Tehuti with fast turnaround on the final RTL code.
In order to meet the 1 W power budget, Uniquify performed synthesis optimization. The design team decided against incorporating power islands to reach the power goal, but rather instituted fine tuning of synthesis and place and route parameters, using the most optimal Vt combination to achieve the lowest power.
With the TN4010, Tehuti achieved first-time working silicon and met the goal of 10GbE performance at a competitive price point and small footprint. Moreover, it realized the target power goal of less than 1 W. Manufactured in TSMC’s 65G process, the TN4010 offers optimum tradeoff for size, performance and cost, and is now shipping in volume.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.