SoC Design: Catena Taps Thalia-DA to enable analog IP re-use

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Thalia Design Automation has been selected by Catena, a leader in radio frequency (RF) communication intellectual property (IP) for connectivity, to support a range of projects that will enhance Catena’s analog IP reuse strategy, as the company seeks to diversify its portfolio of products to better serve system-on-chip (SoC) designers targeting mobile, Internet-of-things (IoT) and RF connectivity markets.

Catena has a 30-year track record of partnering with global IC makers to design analog electronic systems, with particular strengths in RF and signal processing implementations. Its silicon-proven Connectivity RF portfolio includes optimized, very low power IP blocks such as Bluetooth Smart radio, Bluetooth Smart Ready radio, most Wi-Fi variants (including MIMO), and combined Bluetooth / WiFi offerings.

By calling on Thalia’s expertise and technology, Catena will dramatically streamline its analog design flow and create an analog IP reuse methodology that enables it to deliver products tailored exactly to its customers’ requirements, quickly and at reduced cost.

The ability to performance-optimize, create product variants and target any process technology contrasts with the industry’s traditional model of hand-crafting every new design “from the ground up” – a time consuming process that diverts precious resources from innovation and the development of new products.

“We’re taking a new approach, which represents a fundamental shift in the way analog IP is created and delivered,” said Kave Kianush, Catena Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “Our relationship with Thalia helps us to deliver exactly the right feature and performance combination for our customers, against ever more demanding time-to-market and cost requirements. Thalia’s combination of novel design automation technology and analog design expertise is unique in the market: we’ve already seen a positive impact on our ability to deliver against tight customer deadlines.”

Sowmyan Rajagopalan, Thalia Founder, CEO and CTO, commented: “Catena lead the field in providing RF IP solutions that can be easily integrated into customer applications, while delivering outstanding performance cost-effectively. We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the analog design landscape, where everyone is under great pressure to re-use IP and establish more structured methodology. Thalia is proud to be able to contribute to Catena’s continuing pre-eminence in this demanding field: we look forward to a successful continuing relationship.”

Thalia provides a range of solutions for RF, analog and mixed-signal technology transfer and design optimization, derivative generation and IP creation, based on a unique combination of design automation technology, methodology and design know-how. Its customers include integrated circuit (IC) manufacturers and IP houses looking to quickly and cost-effectively diversify their product range, and leverage the most appropriate semiconductor manufacturing technologies.

Rodger Sykes, Thalia Executive Chairman, said: “Working with Catena is just one example of the substantial customer traction Thalia is already achieving. We are offering a truly disruptive technology, in a sector of the global electronics industry that is gaining increasing importance. Alongside Catena, we’re creating change that is truly revolutionary.”

Catena combines advanced RF design with access to advanced technology nodes: as part of this the company works closely with multiple foundries, including TSMC and Global Foundries (GF). It recently announced completion of porting of the Connectivity RF portfolio to the GF 28nm-SLP process. Such capabilities offer customers new levels of product performance, reliability and scalability, which in turn allows them to focus on the value add in their designs and push the innovation envelope.


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