Advanced Pre-Tapeout Silicon Prototyping

| Electronics Testing

The Keysight M8135A is a pre-configured USPA system for single channel transceiver applications

Platform provides real-time development environment to reduce the risk, cost, and time associated with silicon chip prototyping and verification

Keysight Technologies has released a new Universal Signal Processing Architecture (USPA) prototyping platform, enabling semiconductor companies to conduct complete chip prototyping and verification, pre-tapeout, in a real-time development environment integrating digital twins of fully-compliant, standards-based signals.

The final step of the chip design process, known as the silicon tapeout, is an increasingly expensive procedure that leaves little room for design failure. If a design fails following the tapeout, chip makers must start over again with a new “re-spin” that can take 12 months or longer to complete. In addition to tying up valuable research and development resources, these chip redesigns can potentially cause the chip maker to miss a narrow time-to-market window.

To reduce the risks of design failures and expensive re-spins, the Keysight USPA platform provides chip designers and engineers with complete digital twin signalling to verify designs before they are committed to silicon. The USPA platform offers designers an alternative to proprietary custom prototyping systems by integrating ultrafast signal converters with a high performance, completely modular field-programmable gate array (FPGA) prototyping system.

The platform supports the highest performance optoelectronic development projects with digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) and analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) interfaces that emulate signals at full speed, up to 68 GS/s (ADC) and 72 GS/s (DAC).

It also provides a broad range of input / output interfaces that are suitable for applications including 6G wireless development, digital radio frequency memory, advanced physics research, and high-speed data acquisition applications, such as radar and radio astronomy.

Dr Joachim Peerlings, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight’s Network and Data Center Solutions Group, said: “By accelerating and de-risking chip development, Keysight USPA delivers a new end-to-end system that meets design challenges in a very high-cost environment. This powerful platform gives chip developers a digital twin of their future silicon device, allowing them to fully validate their designs and algorithms before incurring the expense and risk of a tapeout.”

Jonathan Newell
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