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2024 Outlook with Chris Morrison of Agile Analog

2024 Outlook with Chris Morrison of Agile Analog
by Daniel Nenni on 01-19-2024 at 6:00 am

Agile Analog image

Agile Analog focuses on providing analog and mixed-signal IP (Intellectual Property) solutions for the semiconductor industry. They specialize in developing analog and mixed-signal designs that can be integrated into various electronic devices and systems.  Composa™ is their unique technology that automatically generates analog IP to your exact specifications. Applications include; HPC, IoT, AI, automotive and aerospace.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.
I am an electronics engineer with over 15 years’ experience of working in the semiconductor industry, delivering innovative analog, digital, power management and audio solutions. In that time I have been fortunate to have had some really interesting technical, product and project roles, including during my 10 years at Dialog Semiconductor (acquired by Renesas). Now, I am the Director of Product Marketing at Agile Analog, the customizable analog IP company.

At Agile Analog, we are transforming the world of analog IP with our highly configurable, multi-process analog IP technology. The company has developed a unique way to automatically generate analog IP that meet the customer’s exact specifications, for any foundry and on any process, from legacy nodes right up to the leading edge. We provide a wide-range of novel analog IP solutions and subsystems, covering data conversion, power management, IC monitoring, security and always-on IP. Applications include; data centers/HPC (High Performance Computing), IoT, AI, quantum computing, automotive and aerospace.

What was the most exciting high point of 2023 for your company?
2023 was a busy year for Agile Analog. There were several significant company milestones, including product launches for our 12-bit ADC and RISC-V subsystem. There were also important industry partner announcements – when we joined the Intel Foundry Services Accelerator IP Alliance Program in March and then the TSMC Open Innovation Platform (OIP) IP Alliance Program in September.

If I had to single out just one exciting high point for Agile Analog in 2023, it would be becoming a TSMC OIP member. This was a great team achievement and it has opened up many new doors for us. For example, enabling us to take part in the TSMC OIP Ecosystem Forums last September and October. Collaborating closely with the major foundries means that we can better serve our growing array of global customers, especially those in sectors like HPC (High Performance Computing) working on the most advanced nodes.

What was the biggest challenge your company faced in 2023?
2023 was a challenging year for the semiconductor industry as a whole, with supply chain disruptions, component shortages, staff layoffs, the global economic downturn and geopolitical turmoil. As a result of these complex issues there was a lack of confidence across the industry. This impacted on most organisations in our market, particularly in the first half of 2023. By the end of 2023 however, and coming into 2024, at Agile Analog we have seen a really strong pick up with a lot of new projects.

How is your company’s work addressing this biggest challenge?
Over the last 12 months, the Agile Analog team has continued to develop our product portfolio and strengthen partner relationships, whilst the industry has slowly regained its confidence. Our core mission is to reduce chip design complexity, risk and cost, enabling a faster time-to-market for the very latest semiconductor devices.

As our innovative Composa™ platform automatically generates customizable and process agnostic analog IP, analog circuits can be designed more quickly and to a higher quality. Our digitally wrapped solutions simplify the semiconductor integration process. Using our technology, chip designers can add analog features to provide product differentiation without needing to worry about specialist analog engineers or high costs. This will help to accelerate innovation in semiconductor design.

In 2023 we saw great advances within our Composa tool, with multiple customer deliveries generated and verified through our Composa engine. The advances here allow us to generate transistor sized schematics in a matter of minutes. In 2024 we will continue to extend the functionality of our Composa tool, in particular adding layout functionality, initially around component placement and then on to full routing.

What do you think the biggest growth area for 2024 will be, and why?
Analysts are predicting that there will be a return to growth in the semiconductor industry in 2024. I expect that this will be driven in part by increased demand for HPC, especially with continued growth in ICs for AI. At some point we must see some recovery in the consumer space too!

Away from the more mainstream areas there is also mounting interest in quantum computing and quantum sensing technology. In 2024 we will begin to see more companies try and take these solutions out of the science labs and work towards commercializing the technology. This is largely thanks to the huge amounts of government investment worldwide in this field.

How is your company’s work addressing this growth?
There is growing demand for our highly configurable, high-quality and high-performance analog IP products – especially our data conversion, security, and power management solutions. In terms of quantum computing technology, one of the reasons that the Agile Analog team worked on the sureCore CryoCMOS project last year was to gain more experience in this area. We are working hard to extend our product portfolio further to support the increasing range of innovative applications.

In 2024 we will have a particular focus on building out our data converter roadmap, to bring higher resolution and higher data rate converters to market and delivering our chip health and monitoring, security, and power management IP on the latest nodes.

What conferences did you attend in 2023 and how was the traffic?
I was on the road quite a lot in 2023! I attended an interesting range of industry events across the world – including the TSMC Symposium in Amsterdam in May, the RISC-V Summit Europe in Barcelona in June, the GSA Forum in Munich in June, and then DAC (Design Automation Conference) in Santa Clara in July.

During the second half of the year we focused more on foundry events – such as the TSMC OIP Ecosystem Forums in Santa Clara in September and in Amsterdam in October that I mentioned earlier. The event world seemed to be beginning to come back to life in 2023, with increased traffic compared to 2022, so here’s hoping that this momentum continues in 2024.

Will you attend conferences in 2024? Same or more?
In 2024, it is likely that we will maintain our focus on strengthening our foundry relationships by participating in more of the foundry related events. The first of these being the new Intel IFS event in San Jose in February. This year I will be joined on the road by a new colleague, Christelle Faucon, our new VP of Sales. Together we will spread the word about the benefits of our unique analog IP technology to accelerate the adoption of our analog IP products across the globe.

Also Read:

Agile Analog Partners with sureCore for Quantum Computing

Agile Analog Visit at #60DAC

Counter-Measures for Voltage Side-Channel Attacks

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