Chip Design Software Enhances User Experience for IoT and AI-Powered Smart Devices

Developer of AI and (Internet of Things) IoT-based chips, zGlue has announced its ChipBuilderTM Pro Package to quickly and easily enable the next-generation consumer experiences on IoT and AI-powered devices. According to IHS Markit Technology, the number of connected IoT devices worldwide will jump 12 percent on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030.

To enable this growth, flexible, accelerated chip design solutions will be needed. zGlue is positioned to address this demand by allowing whole systems to be converted into chips with a total development time of weeks. Traditional methods such as System-on-a-Chip projects often takes years to do the same while PCB based systems don’t meet the size requirements. With the explosive growth of IoT and AI, all in size limited systems, the need for greater agility in design and development will only increase. zGlue’s SmartFabric makes chip design and production easier and faster for the next generation of wireless, wearable and IoT innovators.

ChipBuilder Pro is a disruptive, end-to-end chip design and manufacturing package that speeds development and lets entrepreneurs and developers of all experience levels design, code and make wearable, medical and other connected devices. A custom chip can be built from existing chiplets from a multitude of zGlue’s third party providers and integrated into a single package.

ChipBuilder Pro fundamentally transforms the traditional semiconductor business model, democratizing chip design and manufacturing with a much more flexible and modular approach. Both big and small companies are investigating how zGlue fits into their development strategy. Google is funding two experimental projects in partnership with zGlue and Antmicro to understand how zGlue can allow for maintaining design footprint and mechanical compatibility.

The ChipBuilder software leverages zGlue’s patented Smart Fabric™ technology for 2.5D chiplet integration to deliver a drag and drop integration experience, permitting developers to quickly make a heterogeneous chip. An industrial partnership is an essential part of zGlue’s ecosystem strategy. For example, zGlue and Cypress partnered to build two reference systems targeting wearable and smart home applications. The systems included Cypress’s industry-leading PSOC and WiFi chiplets for integration with zGlue Smart Fabric, through the zGlue Shuttle program. The ChipBuilder Pro allows users to accelerate product innovation and market entry by being able to iterate more quickly and more often. The solution will improve Cypress Semiconductor’s ability to efficiently address the demand of their customers who are focused on delivering lightweight, customer-centric products.

Built on TSMC’s industry-leading technology, the ChipBuilder Pro offers customers the ability to quickly create unique products with space and power-saving advantages to well fit into the growing IoT market. TSMC has a long track record of working with emerging IC innovators to enable their product prototypes. TSMC will continue to work closely with its customers and help them unleash their silicon innovations to seize the growth opportunity for the upcoming AI and 5G era.

zGlue also unveiled its new ChipBuilder 3.0 software, which is free to community users. The software allows users to design and visualize new ZIP (zGlue Integrated Platform) systems, request the addition of new chiplets to zGlue’s library and share designs with the rest of the ChipBuilder community, thereby offering an open, robust design resource center for developers. Developers can create chip designs from scratch or select from 1500 existing chiplets, available from the zGlue ChipletStore™, with new chiplets being added continually. They also can choose from 60 Quickstart Templates to modify or use as-is or as an inspiration for designing a variety of devices ranging from smart home to wearables and medical devices, and more.

Being processor and system agnostic, devices leveraging Microsoft Azure or Arm's Platform Security Architecture can be delivered in a ZiP. Because ChipBuilder uses Microsoft Azure cloud, products developed with ChipBuilder benefit from industry-leading security, reliability, compliance, privacy, and a vast network of people, partners, and processes. The level of security, enabled through more than $1B of annual spend and dedication of over 3500 cybersecurity professionals, is being entrusted for silicon and electronics development by both commercial and government (DoD) entities.

A ChipBuilder Pro license supports two users and includes access to all chiplets, designs and templates available via the ChipBuilder software plus the ability to fabricate prototypes. Users can create and manufacture one design with one annual subscription. In creating the design, they can collaborate privately with other Pro users or publicly with the wider ChipBuilder community of users. ChipBuilder Pro also incorporates:

  • Design and release management and versioning
  • A sample run on the zGlue manufacturing Shuttle program, allowing the return of 10 prototype units of one design within one-to-three months of its submission to the program
  • Parasitic net extraction and system verification
  • 40 hours of engineering support
  • Security features including IP protection and visibility into account activity
  • System reconfiguration during the hardware debug process - a feature that often enables bug fixes without the need for remanufacturing, thereby accelerating the path to production and revenue

Pricing and Availability: ChipBuilder Pro and ChipBuilder 3.0 Community Edition are now available. ChipBuilder Pro is available for an in-app purchase of $25,000.00 per year, which includes 10 prototypes of one new design every year. Users also have the option of manufacturing another 100 prototypes of the design after the initial 10 for an additional $25,000.00.

zGlue showcased its ChipBuilder and ChipBuilder Pro Package at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, January 7-10, 2020.


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