When you partner with SWINDON you will be given access to our best in class team of highly-skilled, qualified and experienced ASIC engineers. We offer a complete service for your mixed signal ASIC and over the past 5 decades we have built a formidable team that has consistently delivered market leading ASIC solutions to our partners.
Our design engineering team consists of PhD, MSc and degree qualified design engineers with an average experience of greater than 15 years in the design of complex analog, digital and mixed signal ASICs.
Our team are global leaders in automotive ultra-low power, low pressure applications where we supply in excess of 50% of the global demand for TPMS ASICs. Other core competencies include the design and supply of interfaces for most of the standard sensors used today and optimised solutions for industrial control, position sensing, factory automation and instrumentation. Our designs typically contain challenging analogue circuitry with Analog to Digital Converters from 8 bit to 24 bit with sampling rates up to 5Gs/s.
To complement our analog ASIC design capabilities, our digital ASIC design team integrates embedded processors such as the ARM Cortex and 8051 family onto many of our mixed signal devices.
Enabling Our Customers
Through design excellence SWINDON optimises performance, size and cost to ensure unprecedented levels of performance and customer satisfaction. Whatever your application, SWINDON’s design excellence enables our customers to compete and win in their chosen field by providing them with access to technical leadership in low power and high performance ASIC design techniques.
Low Power Design
SWINDON has a long and successful history in ultra-low power (nA) mixed signal ASIC design and supply with some of our automotive designs achieving a ten year operating life while being supplied from a coin cell battery and transmitting RF data to a receiver in the car. This ultra-low power capability is also seen in our industrial ASICs with sensor interfaces designed to operate with only a few mw power consumption.
SWINDON will work with your system architects to minimize the power whilst achieving the required performance. This needs to be considered in all blocks, and in all modes of operation such as static (during standby) and dynamic (normal operation).
SWINDON are experts in low power design techniques and only by employing these techniques throughout the design of your ASIC will you achieve the optimum design. Low power design is a state of mind.
Analogue design is one of SWINDON’s primary areas of expertise. Over the years we have developed many analog IP blocks which can be used across many applications. Our proven analogue design covers many areas such as Analogue to Digital Convertors (ADC), Digital to Analogue Convertors (DAC), Amplifiers (OP Amps, TIA, LNA, VGA etc), Synthesizers, Voltage Regulators and Convertors (many different architectures), Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO’s), Constant Current Generator, Filters and Signal Conditioning to name but a few.
SWINDON has designed and integrated many complex ASICs across numerous geometries. Below is a diagram that illustrates what we have designed and integrated onto a System on Chip (SoC) solution for many customers.
Design for Test
SWINDON offers the full turnkey solution and we understand the importance of design for test and thinking about the production side from day one. We have had over three hundred projects that have smoothly transitioned from engineering to production and all of them are 100% tested in house.
We therefore have to ensure that every device is Design for Test (DfT) optimised whilst ensuring the maximum test coverage is maintained. We have a dedicated Test Development team who work hand in hand with the Design Engineers to ensure that maximum test coverage of your chip is provided. The production test of an ASIC determines the level of quality that you will see in the field and it is of paramount importance to Swindon.
SWINDON operates in many different applications providing custom and optimised solutions through our ASICs. We design, develop and produce the most sophisticated digital, analogue and mixed signal design blocks which are used to create advanced market leading products. We also have extensive access to our foundry partners’ digital IP library, such as RAM / Flash memory blocks that can be incorporated into the design.
By applying these existing IP blocks to your design ensures shorter design cycles and projects that are on time and in budget. For example, the diagram below illustrates the breadth of our proven design blocks and our ADC designs ranging from 8 bit to 24bit resolution and up to 5Gs/s sampling rate.
Operating in many markets has given SWINDON expertise in the many different communication protocols that can be required. These can be split into wired and wireless and depends totally upon your requirements. The interface required will depend on the application, and physical characteristics such as ease of access, cost and size targets for the device. SWINDON will implement the vast majority of standard protocols. Some of the more common recent examples are shown below.
This is not an exhaustive list so come and discuss your requirements with the SWINDON team.
Integrating a DSP or advanced processor onto your ASIC is common place today. SWINDON has designs with anything from a simple state machine, an 8 bit 8051 microcontroller, a custom processing block to an ARM Cortex processor. We work with our customers to assess and then deliver the optimum architect for your application. This often means using a custom block for the signal processing as in many cases the full capabilities of a standard processor are not required and can be wasted resource in the design.
SWINDON will optimise your design for performance and size enabling you to gain the competitive advantage for your market.
In today’s market, the requirement for the design to meet functional safety requirements is becoming ever more present. For automotive, this means ISO 26262 and for industrial IEC 61508. These standards try to ensure that all risk is identified (Safety Integrity Level – SILs) and appropriate steps taken to ensure that risk reduction is achieved. SWINDON has developed and supplied ASICs into the safety critical arena and are continuing to develop IC’s for this application.
Key aspects the standards address:
- Safety lifecycle definition
- Management of functional safety
- Definition of Safety Integrity Levels (SILs)
- Hardware and software development
- Analysis and supporting evidence of compliance
Protection and compatibility are important elements in the design process. Customers require protection from the effects of reversals, power surges or the consequences of electrical interference (EMC). The SWINDON design team ensures this protection with specialist circuitry that is integrated into the chip. This means that there is no need for any external protection, such as an External Diode Bridge, thus reducing cost and size.
SWINDON design and test devices to meet and exceed relevant industry standards; these include Reversal, Surge, ESD and Conductive Disturbance.
ASIC Design Flow
Today the demands of industry for ever-increasing performance and features are being placed upon the semiconductor manufacturers and designers. The need for larger and more diverse on-chip analogue functionality is becoming increasingly important to achieve and increase performance requirements whilst still reducing size and system cost. SWINDON has a proven design flow that encompasses the whole of the ASICs life cycle. We consider all aspects of your design to ensure a smooth transition from design to production through to end of life (EOL).
As can be seen from the diagram opposite, the vast majority of the process flow elements are conducted in house by SWINDON’s qualified team.