It is amazing to finish a chip design in just 2 months (started a chip in March, showed it in trade show in April and then shipped the samples in May). How much faster can they shorten the design cycle? I have no idea how innovation can take place if there is just little time for chip design to sit down to work, not even think. Personally, I don't think this can help the company to grow healthily and such strategy can't last long.
Rockchip outsources most of the design work to GUC which is a TSMC affliate. My sources told me it usually takes 3 iterations (sometimes 4) to get it right. So the March to May time frame could be the 3rd try, which could be a simple metal change, or from MPW shuttle to full-mask.
Another very informative article - many thanks.
I do have an interesting question - since you are quoting Rockchip's CEO:
The RK31xx is a dual core Cortex A9 product designed for tablets and smartphones. Using Globalfoundries' high-k 28-nm process, “we can reduce cost, gain performance, but most importantly, we will reduce power consumption for tablets,” said Chen
Will the package interconnect for this application processor be Cu-wire wirebond or flip-chip bumps? I am curious how much wirebond for multi-core application processors even in 28nm.
Many thanks in advance if you can find and provide the answer.
I think I am the guilty one here, not articulating this whole "design" process well in the story.
I will correct the story accordingly. Meanwhile, here's an e-mail I just received from Rockchip's Chen. He clarified this for us as follows:
"What I meant was, after we got the chip, we were able to get the chip in end products in less than 2 months."
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.