The state of SoC design in China is a difficult subject to research, but it is a question of vital interest to many designers and managers in the rest of the world. In recent weeks we have seen a couple of data points that suggest an interesting and fluid picture.
One point comes from Open-Silicon, which recently collaborated with two companies from the People's Republic on a very substantial design. The chip was a 100 Mgate wireless networking SoC done in TSMC 65nm CMOS. Virtually all the RTL was developed at Open-Silicon's customer, Shenzhen-based HiSilicon. The physical design was a collaboration between a team of Open-Silicon engineers and a team at Brite Semiconductor in Shanghai.
The second data point comes from Taiwan-based fabless ASIC
house Global Unichip. Director of marketing Keh-Ching Huang says that the company is currently engaged in several 28nm designs planned for tapeout next year. Some of these engagements are with mainland Chinese companies.
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