X-FAB and Efabless introduce RISC-V microcontroller reference design
Analogue/mixed-signal foundry, X-FAB and Efabless, have announced successful first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V system on chip (SoC) reference design. The open-source project used the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools to progress from design start to tape-out in less than three months.
The resulting Raven mixed-signal SoC is based on the community developed, low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and, based on simulations, predicts that the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.
Raven uses X-FAB proprietary analogue IP and is manufactured on X-FAB’s XH018 process. This flexible 180nm six-metal process includes a low power option, on-chip isolation for high voltages and high-temperature flash memory. The process meets automotive quality requirements and can also be used in industrial and medical applications.
Efabless is now engaged with its initial customers on design of derivative offerings. It is available to the Efabless community as a reference design without license fee.
Efabless believed to be the world’s first crowd-sourcing platform for semiconductors. Efabless’ customers connect with a community of design firms and professionals and receive formal quotes for custom mixed signal IC and IP solutions. Efabless then provides its IC design community with a cloud-based platform offering everything needed to execute the designs. This includes a design flow based on open source tools, a marketplace featuring IP and full reference designs, access to foundry processes and MPW services to get to prototypes. The entire offering is designed to eliminate the cost and administrative barriers that have inhibited IC design in general and custom IC design in particular.
X-FAB manufactures silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications, using X-FAB’s modular CMOS and SOI processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 micron and its special SiC and MEMS long-lifetime processes. X-FAB’s mixed-signal ICs, sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S.