PIVOTAL TECHNOLOGIES AND UMC GROUP ALIGN TO ADDRESS COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA SOC DESIGNS
Broad Portfolio of Analog and Mixed-Signal Cores to Target Deep Submicron SOC Requirements
PASADENA, Calif. and SUNNYVALE, Calif., December 4, 1999-Pivotal Technologies, a leading provider of analog and mixed-signal sub-systems for SOC applications, and UMC Group, the renowned semiconductor foundry, today announced a multi-year agreement to prove, supply and support a broad range of Pivotal?s Fulcrum[tm] analog and mixed-signal on-chip components, essential for deep sub-micron, system-on-chip (SOC) designs. With this agreement, SOC developers will have broader access to proven components that target their deep submicron process requirements in communications and multi-media markets. The components will be made available for UMC Group's 0.25 and 0.18 micron processes, as well as 0.15 micron processes in the future. Several important elements for rapidly expanding communications and multi-media markets will be thoroughly tested on the various processes and provided in an SOC-integration-ready format. Thus, developers can reduce their development risks and time-to-m! arket cycles as they can tap these on-chip components from Pivotal, rather than build their own.
"The complexity of SOC design is still considered a high-risk undertaking,? said K.C. Murphy, president and CEO of Pivotal Technologies. "Anything we can do to lower risk allows our customers to have a higher confidence in their SOC designs. By having UMC Group as our Premier Technology Development Partner, we can assure our mutual customers that Pivotal's Fulcrum[tm] IP components have been validated on an industry-leading deep submicron foundry process. This partnership eliminates the promise of a design and replaces it with the demonstration of a product."
"Developers of SOCs require several categories of IP: foundation libraries, embedded memories, analog and mixed-signal cores and microprocessor components, and these all need to be interoperable,? noted Dr. Jim Ballingall vice president of worldwide marketing at UMC Group. "For the past year, the focus of our Gold IP program has been pre-proving and coding cores to their maturity in our process technologies. Now the focus is shifting to interoperability of the cores as we move into Phase 2 of the program. Pivotal is key to this phase as they offer a complete and rich set of analog cores that they developed internally. Furthermore, Pivotal is cooperating with our other Gold IP partners to assemble this basic set into more complex application-specific IP cores and platforms. As analog and mixed-signal cores are so difficult and time consuming to make, those companies that purchase these components from Pivotal, our Premier Technology Development Partner for such technology,! will save time and valuable engineering resources. Accordingly, we are very enthusiastic about this partnership with Pivotal as now our customers, particularly those that are seeking to develop designs on our 0.18 micron process, will have broader access to the components they require."
Murphy stated, "Pivotal is at the forefront of providing not only world-class technology, but also solid real-world delivery. Our flows and testability features on the analog/mixed-signal side are second to none, particularly now as we have partnered with UMC Group."
Kawasaki LSI is a customer of Pivotal Technologies and UMC Group. Mano Vafai, vice president of system on a chip products at Kawasaki LSI U.S.A. noted, "Kawasaki LSI is aggressively expanding its SOC product portfolios to meet the cost/performance requirements of its expanding global customer base. In doing so, Kawasaki LSI will take advantage of analog IP solutions developed by companies such as Pivotal Technologies that target the mainstream CMOS process developed by UMC Group."
Hisaya Keida, research and development manager for product development and design at Kawasaki LSI in Japan added, "We have found Pivotal Technologies to be different from ordinary providers of analog IP in numerous ways. Pivotal provides rich line-ups, is very aggressive in developing product and always verifies silicon performance. With analog functions, you cannot be confident until you see working silicon. In particular, we have been very impressed with the work of Pivotal Technologies' test lab."
Pivotal Technologies also recently received a $10-million Series B round of financing led by the inves[tm]ent arm of Goldman Sachs. This second round of financing brings Pivotal a total of $14-million in financing to date. This most recent inves[tm]ent will be used to expand the engineering resources to meet the company's present sales demands worldwide.
The joint portfolio includes analog and mixed-signal SOC components from Pivotal's Fulcrum line of high-performance A/D converters, D/A converters, and PLLs, which are available now. Each of the on-chip products has been designed to address specific segments of today's high-growth communications and multi-media markets. The components, which require only standard CMOS logic processes, will be fully qualified in UMC Group processes prior to delivery. Pivotal is also providing to customers the elements needed for successful integration and final testing to ensure cost-effective, robust SOC solutions.
About Pivotal Technologies
Pivotal Technologies Corp. (www.pivotaltech.com), founded in 1997, is a leading supplier of System-On-a-Chip (SOC) subsystems for multimedia, communications and networking applications. One of the first companies to enable highly integrated silicon for digital data transmission, Pivotal has proven to be instrumental in helping semiconductor companies get SOC products to market quickly. Pivotal leverages world class analog, RF and dedicated digital signal processing (DSP) technologies and global semiconductor manufacturing partnerships to develop and prove both mixed-signal components, known as the Fulcrum[tm] product line, and complete physical interfaces for applications such as Digital Video, Ethernet and Bluetooth.
About UMC Group
UMC Group is a world leading semiconductor foundry group consisting of five Taiwan based foundry companies, and the first dedicated foundry in Japan, Nippon Foundry Inc. (NFI). The scheduled merger of the five Taiwan based companies will become effective January 3, 2000. UMC Group is a leader in foundry technology and expects post-merger capacity to reach 2.4 million wafers per year in 2000. In 1999, UMC Group reached volume production for 0.18-um technology and created production-ready copper-interconnect technology. UMC Group has marketing and customer support offices located in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. UMC Group can be found on the web at www.umcgroup.com