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Moortec enhances on-chip thermal sensors for CMOS systems

03 Jan 2014

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Moortec Semiconductor said it has improved its portfolio of on-chip temperature sensors for advanced CMOS technologies. The company says the sensors feature an uncalibrated accuracy of ±3C and a calibrated accuracy of ±1C, across the temperature range of -40C to +125C. The range also offers a resolution of 0.06C. The enhanced sensors are available on TSMC28LP and TSMC28HPM technology nodes.

By licensing and deploying this sensor, IP IC designers will be able to monitor temperature on different regions of processors and SoC chips to higher accuracy. This is now a fundamental method by which the use of IP blocks within complex chip designs at the leading edge is now controlled. Better management of IC heating issues on advanced-node ICs allows for higher gate and power densities than would otherwise be possible.

The sensor IP can be used within performance optimisation schemes such as dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), thermal monitoring to create alarm conditions, and also device security against hacking. Another application is the monitoring of on-chip junction temperature, which with the higher accuracy now offered by Moortec, will allow for improved monitoring during the high temperature operating life (HTOL) test phase, often required for the qualification and characterisation of silicon devices.

Although the sensor IP is predominantly analogue in design, digital interfaces are included and the IP is characterised for digital CMOS design flows. Optional extra digital interfaces are provided with Moortec's IP range, such as AMBA APB, I2C, SPI, and iJTAG.

"Moortec believes there is now a critical need for reliable on-chip monitoring, especially thermal monitoring, for semiconductor geometries of 28nm, 16nm, and 14nm," said Stephen Crosher, managing director of Moortec Semiconductor, in a statement. Crosher added that FinFET and FDSOI manufacturing processes exhibit their own heating problems and will require on-chip thermal sensors.

Moortec also offers on-chip voltage monitoring IP for both steady-state supply measurements, as well as glitch detection. Moortec is developing process detector IP for delivery in Q1 2014.

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