Markt und Technik, July 1999
Founder and President of Sulzer Microelectronics AG
Success with System on Chip
The Swiss Sulzer Microelectronics consortium has been active in the integration technology field for 15 years making a name for itself through working with partners like LSI Logic and Actel. This system house has been primarily oriented to the European market and focuses on collaborating with dynamic medium sized companies whose products benefit from having the most modern silicon technology. A follow on from our European expansion is the further development of our Silicon Valley establishment in Fremont. The company uses the structured design approach and is wellknown for its turnkey design capabilities. Sulzer Microelectronics prides itself on its reliability and long term supply of its customers with silicon solutions.
The design industry in change
The tremendous change the electronic industry has recently undergone, has entailed a shift towards strategic partnerships between customers and system houses. For smaller innovative companies, whose needs cannot compare favourably to those of larger manufacturers, such associations help overcome the financial barriers to modern technology. After all, these enterprises are instrumental in contributing to the creation of newer, future oriented products.
Since IT and the consumer industry are merging, mobile communication is now both - one of most significant pacemakers and user of integration technology. Not only can this mean integrating a high performance computer with a million gates, but also doing it for US$ 20 within 6 months after design start. This forces potential users into new business models concentrating on product design and marketing. These companies need a high level interface to technology.
Our present position
We have completed more than 160 ASIC designs on 8 different generations of LSI Logic technology. Our team of 20 highly specialised engineers, most of whom are multilingual, know their way around designs ranging from 1’000 to 2 million gates and work with state of the art equipment. We offer system analysis, detailed ASIC offers with milestones and project management proposals. We also run a prototype laboratory for building and verifying the system components which connect with the developed ASICs. The capability to directly place ASICs on the FPGA base platform is particularly successful. The Sulzer Microelectronics Group is also highly experienced in using IP.
There is a special focus on portable designs, i.e. solutions for emerging markets in power sensitive devices. We have proven success in the fields of hearing aids and mobile telephone technology as well as high performing data acquisition. The IP generated by the group can substantially reduce the time to market by strictly keeping to the structured design base. Cores are available for telecom and industrial electronics.
Example of a successful ASIC Integration
Acqiris (Geneva, Switzerland) a manufacturer of high-speed signal acquisition systems,recently completed a major systems integration project with Sulzer Microelectronics, using LSI Logic ASIC technology. The device which contains over 8 million transistors and accepts a 1 Gbyte/sec data stream, was delivered on time and allows Acqiris to offer much higher performance at lower power.
Acqiris digitizer 1 Gb Sample with 2 Mb Memory