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Interview with Arasan

Interview with Arasan
by Daniel Nenni on 07-12-2013 at 7:00 pm

Recently I had a chance to chat with Arasan Ganesan, CEO at Arasan Chip Systems in San Jose, CA. Arasan Chip Systems has provided Silicon interface IP and supporting hardware and software to the semiconductor industry for more than 15 years. The headquarters are in San Jose and engineering offices in Bangalore and Tuticorin, India.

Q: What are the specific design challenges your customers are facing?
At the recent Monterrey conference, we heard that SoCs are getting much more complex, 20nm will take many times more effort, but development times aren’t changing! That’s the bind that all of our customers are in. They are increasingly looking toward IP to help meet this challenge and it’s our job to deliver IP and assist in the use of that IP so that the reality fits the promise.

In practice this means being flexible enough to provide customization services such user-side bus modifications, additional FIFOs and other customer requested features which delivers improved differentiation for the customer’s system. And it also means that when the inevitable questions arise how to use the IP that we are ready to resolve these in the minimum amount of time. Our strategy, here, is to use the engineering development team directly for support, no first line responders who don’t really understand the IP details are stand in the way of getting quick answers.

Q: What does your company do? Our customers are developing SoCs and we help them get to silicon quickly by providing standards-based mobile storage and connectivity IP solutions. By solutions we, we mean that we deliver a complete set of products and services rather than pieces of a solution. We call our complete set – a Total IP Solution – that includes analog and digital IP, verification IP, software stacks and drivers and hardware validation platforms. Today, these solutions cover MIPI, USB, SD, SDIO, MMC/ eMMC, CF, UFS and other popular standards.

Q: Why did you start/join your company? My background Ganesan has a BS/BE in Engineering from R. V. College of Engineering.

I took over as President of Arasan in 2001 with a goal of establishing leadership positions in the mobile storage and mobile connectivity IP markets.

Q: How does your company help with your customers’ design challenges? IP changes very rapidly as specifications evolve to improve performance and power consumption. Many of our customers rely on us to give them a heads up on what’s coming and to help understand how to best utilize new standards in their products. To stay on top of these changes, we participate many standards setting bodies for MIPI, SD, ONFi, eMMC and UFS. We then use the deep domain expertise acquired there to assist customers in architecting their solutions and staying current with the rapidly changing environment.

Ultimately we help by delivering a verified, complete IP solution that the customer can integrate with the minimum of fuss in the shortest time.

Q: What trends are you seeing in Mobile IP? Application requirements for higher performance and lower power are driving up the complexity of IP and require IP that have a mix of digital and analog components. Protocols that support high performance with many performance specific states tend to be very complex so the digital portion of interface IP can be as high as [500K] gates, perhaps 10 times larger than the typical IP a few years ago. In addition, to improve performance and power, most standards have moved to SERDES style implementation with a digital controller and an analog PHY. This increases the implementation complexity in another way, analog/mixed signal skills are required. Fewer and fewer customers find it worthwhile to tackle these challenges themselves and there are not as many IP providers who are up to the task either.

Q: Where can SemiWiki readers get more information? Visit our website at arasan.com to review datasheets and white papers or take a deeper dive with one of our webinars.

lang: en_US

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