Monthly Archives

June 2022

Increased Importance of VLSI Design Ecosystem in India for Worldwide Semiconductor Industry

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In today’s world, semiconductor technologies have the most significant impact on our daily lives. As with engineering products, semiconductors have two parts: the designing aspect and the manufacturing or production part. Both the aspects are coordinated, planned, and organized by VLSI & Embedded engineers all across the industrialized countries in different time zones of the globe for making rapid progress in the field throughout the day.

Likely, India is not an essential contributor to the semiconductor manufacturing sector, but on the other hand, India contributes significantly to the VLSI design sector across the globe. Indian VLSI & Embedded engineers play an essential role in designing VLSI systems for the semiconductor industry.

One of the major factors leading to the remarkable development in the VLSI design sector is the establishment of higher education institutions, including IITs/IISC and other premier institutions, imparting knowledge across the country’s different states. Investing in education will significantly pay off in the future.

Many of them devote themselves to developments in the semiconductor sector, leading to significant advancements in the industry. During the 1980s, most electronics engineers joined premier companies and labs such as Bharat Electronics Ltd, Semiconductor Complex Ltd, the Indian Telephone Industries, etc. They were active in the VLSI design and manufacture in India. Many important private and government companies also marked the industry by planning remarkable strategies and meeting core industry needs while manufacturing indigenous computer systems. Many highly-skilled engineers migrated to foreign countries such as the United States and reached positions of prominence in leading tech companies. The first foreign semiconductor operations center in India was established in Bengaluru in the year 1984 and is known as Texas Instruments. In the following years, multiple talents came together to build a robust infrastructure in the semiconductor industry, VLSI design or silicon design industry, and Indian VLSI & Embedded engineers played a significant part.

What is VLSI?

VLSI or very-large-scale integration is the process of embedding or integrating millions of transistors on a single microchip of silicon semiconductors. The process is of much importance in the contemporary world as it helps build big, more complex chips and memory devices and is utilized in microprocessors and microcontrollers.

The global revenue in the semiconductor sector had crossed USD 440 in 2020, and there has been an increasing demand for producing highly efficient chips that can run advanced modern-day technologies, such as IoT, AR/VR, Cloud, AI/ML, and so on, which are becoming important with every passing day. Growth in consumer electronics, smartphones, computing devices, and other devices has enhanced demand.

Importance of VLSI in Modern Days

VLSI is significant because it is convenient for compact design. It consumes lesser power when compared to a discrete parts circuit, and VLSI can be used for different functions.

Uses of VLSI

  • Sophisticated algorithms can be performed with very little energy by personal entertainment systems.
  • High-definition data videos can be compressed and decompressed smoothly in consumer electronics.
  • Despite a specified function, low-cost terminals require complicated electronics for web browsing.
  • Personal computers and workstations need central processing units and specialized hardware for financial analysis, word-processing, and games.
  • Body functions and other complicated algorithms can be measured through electronic medical systems, and problems can be detected. To identify these complex algorithms, more sophisticated systems are required.

Advantages of VLSI

  1. Minimizes the size of the chips and products.
  2. Enhances the performance and speed of circuits.
  3. Makes the devices cost-effective.
  4. More reliable.
  5. Consumes less power than Discrete components.
  6. Consumes little space.

Contributing Factors to the Improvement in the VLSI Design Sector

  1. Rise of MNCs
  2. The establishment and expansion of multinational companies increased India’s importance in engineering operations. The list of industries is long, and VLSI & Embedded engineers significantly contribute to the brands.

  3. Strong Engineering Services Sector
  4. The business solutions offered by the engineering industry has provided immense flexibility in designing VLSI embedded systems. Although it began as staffing in T&M mode, most successful companies initiated outcome-based project execution, thus sharing greater product design and operation authority.

  5. Expansion of VLSI Education
  6. Many universities have introduced VLSI in the curriculum of fresh graduates. Though the quality of graduates varies, they become productive in a short duration with proper training in the industry to be inducted into the workforce.

  7. A Wide Range of Companies
  8. Many companies have established their design and development centers in India. Intel, Texas Instruments, NXP, Rambus, Qualcomm, Cadence, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, and Siemens. They have contributed significantly to developing a wide range of products, and their application engineering services improved their competency.

  9. Training Centers
  10. These centers are run by professionals with experience and impart knowledge and skill to passionate engineers who are eager to grab the lucrative opportunities of VLSI design.

  11. Expansion of Operations Across Countries
  12. A lot of work in the semiconductor industry is happening across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Delhi-NCR region. There are high chances that the activity may spread to the other regions.

  13. Final Words
  14. The impact of the VLSI Design ecosystem has been experienced in the past few years. The resonance in hardware design establishments has noted that the proposals of businesses without an engineering design operation were given no consideration. VLSI will continue to power electronic advancement with the endless demand for devices with compact sizes, high performance and functionality, and reliability. The number of job opportunities in India is also expanding rapidly, making designing VLSI embedded systems an attractive career.

Tessolve actively contributes to the global semiconductor industries by efficiently designing and testing VLSI embedded systems. Our experts can resolve all your queries related to VLSI or embedded systems. Visit our website to know more.

For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today sales@tessolve.com

Automated Routing for PCB

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Each electronic device comprises several meters of wires and multiple small copper parts. These parts work in unison to run an electronic device successfully, regardless of whether it is a television, smartphone, or remote control. All the wires and parts are attached to a thin-layered board perfectly, also known as a PCB or printed circuit board. Engineers assemble all the components on the surface to provide an organized infrastructure for all the small and separate components to interact and work together.

About PCB Designing

PCBs are made up of conductive material mounted on the insulating material. When PCBs are divided, you get two classes: the single-layer PCB and the double-layer PCB. The difference is that the single-layer PCB has a one-sided conductive coating, and the double layer is coated on both sides.

One way to lessen the heating up of PCB designs is to broaden the traces on the board. It is one of the many routing rules manufacturers follow when developing a PCB design. The more is the distance between the traces; the lesser is the resistance of the current flowing.

Hardware design engineers can introduce advanced technology through automated trace routing in an electronic device.

What Is Automated Routing?

Automated trace routing is a way of designing for the PCB and the integrated circuits. The process of placement is automated by integrating with a PCB. The proper placement for each component of a PCB is identified through the dynamic method.

The automated trace routing method permits you to sanction an automatic routing system that makes all the placements systematically. With the assistance of automated trace routers, the productivity of encoders can increase as they do not have to waste time providing manual routing solutions.

How to Efficiently Achieve PCB Automated Routing

  1. Identify the Number of Layers of PCB
  2. Board size and the amount of routing layers should be considered early during the design process. Suppose the design needs the utilization of high-density ball grid array components. In that case, you must consider the minimum number of routing layers desired for routing the devices—the board size assists in determining the stacking and line width for achieving the required design.

    At the initial stages of designing, it is good to use more layers of the circuit and distribute the copper in an even way to prevent a certain number of signals not abiding by the set rules and requirements at the end and thereby being compelled to add more layers. Careful planning is needed before designing, which helps to minimize many troubles in routing. Hardware design engineers fabricate a design for optimum efficiency.

  3. Design Rules and Restrictions
  4. The routing tool must work as per the proper rules and constraints. Various signal lines have various routing needs, and such memorable signal lines have different classifications. Every signal class has a priority with strict rules, and the rules have a significant impact on the routing tool performance.

  5. The Layout of the Components
  6. For optimizing the assembling process, design for manufacturability regulations put restrictions on the layout of components. If the components are allowed to move by the assembly department, it allows for proper optimization for automated routing. One should consider routing channels and via areas while laying out, and the automatic routing tool can consider only a single signal at a time.

  7. Fan-Out Design
  8. In this phase, every pin of the surface-mount device must have a minimum of one via for the board to perform the circuit reprocessing, inner layer connectivity, and online testing if more connections are required. The routing tool can be made more efficient by using the largest via size and printed routing with the interval set to 50 mils. While performing a fan-out design, you should consider the online test of the circuit.

    After that, the circuit online test design can be done at the beginning of the design and executed afterward in the production process. The kind of via fan-out is selected through the circuit online test and routing path.

  9. Automatic Routing
  10. Routing crucial signals need to consider managing specific electrical parameters while routing, such as minimized distributed inductance and EMC. The input parameters of the automatic routing tool and the effect of the input variables on the routing have to be understood to guarantee the quality of the automatic routing by the printed circuit board manufacturers.

    Generic rules have to be used for automatically routing signals. By putting constraints and prohibiting the routing area from explaining the layers used for a particular signal and the number of vias used, the routing tool can be routed automatically according to the design philosophy of the engineer. If there are no restrictions, every layer can be used for automatic routing, and multiple vias would be created. Some work in terms of finishing may be needed along with other network and signal routing space. When a fraction of the design is completed, the routing process is fixed to prevent it from being altered.

Design Considerations for Automatic Routing Include

  • Modify the settings a little and try different path routing.
  • Keep the fundamental rules unaltered, try various routing layers, different spacing, line widths and printed lines, various kinds of vias such as buried holes, blind holes, and so on to observe how they influence the design results.
  • Allow the routing tools to manage the default networks as required.
  • The less significant the signal, the more the privilege for the automatic routing tool.

Tessolve is one of the best professional printed circuit board manufacturers who excel in the process of automatic routing. They ensure that maximum proficiency is perpetrated through automatic routing. Are you seeking the best-in-class PCBs? Get in touch with us right away!

Ultimate Guide to PCB Layout Design Consideration

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Can you imagine a world without technologies wherein there are no computers, mobile phones, television, automobiles, AC, and airplanes?

Without a proper PCB layout, a device cannot function properly. Creating a PCB board design is the same as completing a piece of art wherein a team of engineers spend weeks or months creating the patterns. Developing a PCB layout is not a cakewalk, but anyone with proper guidance and knowledge can also do it.

With this article, we’ll help you understand a few things that let you design the PCB layout process. Take a look!

What is a PCB Layout?

A layout is characterized by the pattern of laying out parts of a particular item or arranging them meaningfully. In the same way, the PCB layout indicates several processes that are required in designing the printed circuit board. It involves creating traces, mounting holes cutouts, putting labels, specifying locations of various components, etc.

A significant concept in PCB design is wire routing, which is one of the most daunting tasks. Routing is the subsequent step once the placement is done. In the placement part, engineers determine the location of different components on the PCB. In routing, wires are added to connect the components as per the design rules.

PCB designing is done manually & automatically. However, to eliminate human errors these days, the designing is done using various PCB designing software having the auto-router feature. This saves time as well as effort and makes the process even simpler. However, it’s not the best option as the designs are not always precise and symmetrical as they should be.

Elements of PCB Layout

Creating & manufacturing the PCB layout involves some of the following elements:-

  1. Schematics–
  2. It is a diagram of components, connections, and circuits that are laid out in an easy-to-understand way. It’s essential while designing a PCB layout as it helps engineers understand & construct the system of the circuit.

  3. High-Frequency Signals –
  4. The PCBs that support higher frequencies have special requirements. Most of the interfaces used today operate at more than 50 MHz, making it essential to have some knowledge of frequencies to avoid issues with high signals.

    With the advancement in technology, the frequency of signals has become significantly high. Therefore, there is a need to understand signal propagation. Also, it would help if you bridged the gap between analog & digital design.

  5. Routing Signal & Placement of Components –
  6. When it comes to the placement of components & signal routing, one needs to follow the direction in which the signal & current flow in the PCB board design.

    Make sure that you maintain a distance between the digital and analog signals. The analog circuits are sensitive to a digital signal and can even lead to disruptions on the analog side.

Steps Involved in PCB Designing

PCB designing plays a quintessential role at every point of the printed circuit board production process. Creating a PCB design includes six basic steps:

  1. Concept
  2. Once you have identified the need for a PCB, the next step is to conceptualize the board. The initial phase involves defining the PCB’s functions and interconnection with other circuits, features, placements at the final product, and dimensions. Also, one needs to consider the approximate range of temperature and other environmental factors in which it will operate.

  3. Schematic
  4. Once you’re done with the concept, the next step is to draw the circuit schematic based on the finalized concept. It includes all the information needed for the board’s electrical components to function appropriately. Not only this, but it must also include the details, such as component name, rating, value, and manufacturer part number.

    When creating a schematic, don’t forget to create a bill of materials containing information on all the components you need for the PCB.

  5. PCB Mechanical Constraints
  6. You need to define Mechanical constraints such as Board dimension, thickness, cutouts, Mounting holes, Keepout regions, Mating and I/O connector locations.

  7. Component Placement
  8. The next and very critical step in designing a PCB layout is the component’s placement. A proper component placement ensures good electrical connection between Circuits and as well enabling the PCB to be assembled and tested efficiently.

  9. Routing
  10. The next important and tedious task in PCB layout is routing. The performance of High speed interfaces, RF, Analog and High power signals is determined by the routing. A good routing between circuits improves the Signal and Power Integrity of the PCB. While the electrical requirements are taken care, all Manufacturing related constraints to be addressed to improve PCB fab yield.

  11. Validation
  12. This is the final step; after you’ve completed the design, you must run a series of Quality and Manufacturing (DRC) checks to meet all the requirements. The design gets completed once the checks are passed, but if not, you have to go back to the previous phases, where you need to make changes and adjustments.

How Tessolve Provides Turnkey Solutions for PCB Design?

As the leading semiconductor engineering solution provider, Tessolve is determined to serve clients and meet their needs. We develop ATE, system and the evaluation boards that help our customers evaluate their product functionality before mass production. We provide the board developments with a team of experts in High-Speed Processors, Analog, RF domains, and Mixed signals. So, make sure to get the perfect design with a combination of hardware engineering with Tessolve and get the best PCB design that you want.

For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today sales@tessolve.com

Embedded System | 9 Main Concepts About Embedded Engineering

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About Embedded System

An embedded system is also termed an integrated system. It is a computer system designed by an embedded engineer to facilitate special functions, and its parts are mounted together onto a motherboard. A microcontroller or a microprocessor that consists of input and output interfaces and a small memory carries out the system’s central processing.

The programing language of the microprocessor or microcontroller, such as C, C++, Linux, and C#, can be used directly to program the systems. Real-time computing tasks can be carried out by designing embedded systems. Specific use cases can be achieved using Tessolve MAGIK-II SOM+CB combination based on various SoCs, i.e., NXP, Qualcomm, TI, Renesas, etc., dedicated to developing and designing prototypes and applications with embedded systems.

Let us dive into detail about the concepts related to designing embedded systems.

What Is a Microprocessor Unit?

The processor initially consisted of separate components interlinked together through buses. For instance, the oscillator and the registers that signal the clock are all individual components. With the development in integration and technology, the various parts were coming together within the same circuit. Therefore, the earlier processor used to have multiple interconnected integrated circuits, and eventually, all the components came to be incorporated within a single circuit, known as a microprocessor.

The microprocessor is a part of the central processing unit (CPU). The arithmetic logic unit (ALU) is present within the microprocessor and performs all the mathematical operations. The registers save the data for the moment, and the control unit harmonizes the working of the rest of the parts, that is, a ROM memory in which instructions are stored and other components.

Microprocessors are not used individually but are integrated with other systems for a particular function.

What Is a Microcontroller Unit?

A microcontroller is a computer with limited functionality. They have a simple design with low speed and are small. Computers have a processor and RAM. A microcontroller is an individual chip in which RAM, ROM, processor, and other components are mounted together to aid programmers. DAC and ADC converters are placed together in different formats.

Therefore, they are not designed to manage an extensive software infrastructure. Most of the time, microcontrollers are directly programmed despite an embedded operating system. Because of this finite capability, a wide array of microcontrollers is established by different elements based on their use. The versatility allows you to choose the microcontroller that suits the project’s requirement and is the primary reason they are so favored in embedded systems.

About Development Kit

A development kit is a hardware component that aids in programming and testing another hardware element, such as a microcontroller, FPGA, or microprocessor. Usually, they are boards with the element in question that you would like to use along with different additional elements that simplify prototyping and programming.

The primary purpose is to help engineers learn, who later need to work with microcontrollers and microprocessors. Tessolve MAGIK-II development kits are good platforms based on various MCUs, MPUs/SoCs, and FPGA, which can help set up a development environment quickly and get started directly on application development for learning and POC purpose.

MAGIK-II platforms and their purpose

Tessolve has its own SOM Module Family MAGIK-2 modules based on the SMARC/Q7 standard, containing a complete software suite including Device Drivers, BSP, and support for various OS allowing effective productization. Our SOM & EVK solutions allow Customers to start their software development before manufacturing and help faster time to market.

MAGIK-II SOM family is ready to use a platform based on well know processors from NXP, Qualcomm, Mediatek, Texas Instruments, and Renesas with Linux/Android OS/RTOS support and can be used for learning and developing POCs for application development for use-cases:

  • Industrial
  • Avionics
  • Automotive
  • Medical
  • Internet of Things

About FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays)

The reconfigurable hardware development obtained one of the most significant advantages, namely FPGA. Testing and designing hardware components are a hectic and time-consuming process that involves a lot of costs. There was no way of confirming that it worked until printing a design on a plate, and the printing process required time and money.
FPGAs are the solution to this problem. They are hardware parts interlinked with each other in a configurable manner, allowing you to select the parts you need and link them without printing them on the hardware. Embedded engineers need to use a particular language for the design, namely Hardware Description Language (HDL). An implement offered by the producer of the FPGA transforms that language into closed or open connections in the internal parts of the FPGA. The hardware circuit would remain the same and would perform the same function as it had been printed.

It made the building and designing process more convenient and allowed every design modification to be examined quickly. FPGAs were previously used for designing and prototyping but not as a finished product, whereas now, some FPGAs are being incorporated into the final product.

What Is SoC?

SoC stands for system on a chip and consists of a set of components that were initially separate but have been later integrated into a single chip. A CPU can form SoCs and FPGAs or ESP32, a microcontroller SoC. It is a broad term that incorporates any technology fused within a single chip or board.

What Is DSP?

DSP stands for digital signal processor and is used to deal with digital signals. It has widespread usage in treating video, audio, and telecommunications, and most of the technology we use regularly contains DSPs.

What Are Real-Time Systems?

Real-time systems can maintain exact time measurements that can be utilized in situations where the reaction time is crucial. The validity of results relies on whether the stipulated time limit has been met. All modern cars have control systems that are based on real-time systems.

Designing embedded systems is significant as they play an essential role in our daily lives. All technical devices require embedded systems to function correctly and provide limitless opportunities for every sector. Tessolve has expert embedded engineers who build designs that enhance the efficiency of the embedded systems. For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today at sales@tessolve.com.