VIRAGE LOGIC ANNOUNCES LOW-VOLTAGE EMBEDDED MEMORIES FOR BATTERY-POWERED APPLICATIONS
FREMONT, Calif. - September 11, 2000 - Virage Logic (NASDAQ: VIRL), the leader in embedded memory, today announced its low-voltage Custom-TouchTM ASAP line of compilers for embedded memories that simultaneously consume low power while operating at low voltage. The embedded memory compilers are optimized for operation at 1.2 volts (V) +/- 10% on the 0.18 micron TSMC Mainstream process and are also functional down to 0.9V. This product is an addition to Virage Logic's existing Custom-Touch ASAP family of memory compilers that run at 1.8V.
Through such architectural innovations, Virage Logic can address the growing demand for battery-powered, portable devices such as laptop computers, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), cell-phone handsets and hearing aids that require a battery life with longer periods of operation. With Virage Logic's TimeKeeperTM technology, the embedded memories can function at lower operational voltages and keep leakage current down without requiring a special low-voltage process. This allows the battery to last longer without recharging.
In order to achieve reliable timing when operating at low voltages, Virage Logic developed proprietary technology called TimeKeeper. TimeKeeper is a reference timing circuitry that gates the control signals to the sense amplifiers and ensures that the timing paths operate accurately under all conditions. Without TimeKeeper technology, this delay would be unable to track memory size, voltage, temperature and process variations.
"Our challenge was to build a low-voltage product with low-leakage current that consumed less power. This is achieved with our TimeKeeper technology," said Krishna Balachandran, director of product marketing for Virage Logic. "In partnership with NurLogic Design we can now offer our customers a complete solution for devices that need to operate at low voltage, while simultaneously consuming less leakage power."
Virage Logic recently teamed with NurLogic Design to combine embedded memories from Virage Logic with NurLogic's standard cell libraries and I/Os that are specially characterized down to very low voltages. Virage Logic and NurLogic worked closely together to ensure their respective technologies worked seamlessly within a customer's design. The partnership's first implementation is with Dspfactory Ltd., a developer of miniature low-power digital signal processing (DSP) technology for portable audio and baseband processing applications. The hearing aid industry is the first target market for Dspfactory's Toccata chip - a market in which low-power consumption and low-voltage operation is critical to the product's performance.
The combination of the low-voltage and low-power solution offers customers
a device that is smaller, weighs less and operates longer. Although a digital hearing aid is the first application to contain the low-voltage technology from Virage Logic and NurLogic, the companies intend to bring their technology to other markets, such as PDA, cell phones, portable audio and baseband processing, which benefit from low power and small size.
The low-voltage Custom-Touch ASAP memory compilers are available today and are silicon proven. Prices for the compilers start at $165,000 (U.S. list price) for a single node-locked license. Although ASAP LV was implemented on TSMC's Mainstream process first, it can operate on TSMC's LV and LP processes. Virage Logic anticipates bringing the ASAP LV family of embedded memories out on other foundries.
Dspfactory is a leading technology provider of miniature, ultra-low power, software-programmable digital signal processing (DSP) solutions for portable audio and baseband processing applications. The SmartCODEC multi-chip module and Toccata hybrid incorporate technology that makes advanced frequency-domain DSP available to a range of applications where it was previously not practical because of power and size constraints. To support algorithm development on their platforms, Dspfactory provides a complete set of support tools and services ranging from software development tools to custom algorithm development services. Additional information is available at www.dspfactory.com.
About NurLogic Design
NurLogic Design, Inc. provides a broad range of semiconductor technology products (including Foundation IP) such as standard cell libraries, specialty I/Os and embedded memory cores; higher-level analog and mixed-signal IP cores; SOC Design Services and ASSP design. NurLogic is a privately held corporation. Further information on NurLogic can be found on the web at http://www.nurlogic.com.
About Virage Logic
Virage Logic is the technology and market leader in embedded memory. To meet customer design goals with the highest level of quality, Virage Logic products are optimized and production tested. These products include embedded memory cores, which are critical components of communications and networking devices including cellular and digital phones, DVD players, switches and modems. In addition, the company offers software tools and custom memory design services. The company's customers include fables semiconductor companies targeting pure-play foundries and semiconductor companies. Founded in January 1996, the company has over 130 employees and is located at 46501 Landing Pkwy., Fremont, Calif., 94538. Telephone: (877) 360-6690 (toll free) or (510) 360-8000. Fax: (510) 360-8099. For more information, please visit www.viragelogic.com.
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Nanette M. Sisk