Glocal Unichip makes cost-effective, low-power server ASIC

Global Unichip, TSMC’s design arm, has made a remote management controller ASIC for server and desktop virtualization by adopting the first DDR3/4 PHY targeting TSMC’s 40LP process technology.

GUC President Jim Lai

GUC President Jim Lai

"The complexity of today's server market is absolutely astounding. Performance was once king but today server SoC's must also provide cost-effective performance. The innovation required to achieve this sweet spot, particularly at a 40nm manufacturing node requires real technical and business creativity and collaboration," says GUC CEO Jim Lai.

GUC's DDR 3/4 PHY is the first to be manufactured in 40nm process technology and provides low power, high performance and cost-effectiveness. GUC offers DDR3/4 PHY and controller production-proven turnkey solutions for all of TSMC’s most advanced process nodes including 40nm LP, 28nmHPM and 16nmFF+.

During the design and production process, engineers from both companies faced performance and time-to-market challenges. On the design side, the new device, the ASPEED's AST2500 server SoC series and AST3200 Desktop Virtualization SoC had to achieve world- class performance on a cost-effective technology.

Key to success was designing to the performance sweet spot of GUC's DDR3/4 high speed interface IP, a condensed package substrate, and a PCB through a precise DDR system simulation flow and measurement correlation.

The GUC IGADDRS03A DDR3/4 PHY high speed interface IP was implemented with a multiple oxide memory I/O design that capitalized on the combo DDR3 and DDR4 low power and high speed operation. The IP supports user-friendly PHY self training that shortens first system boot up time and reduces engineering resources. The IGADDRS03A integrates with both third party and GUC’s DDR3/DDR4 memory controllers.

"GUC brought in-depth IP, process technology and packaging know-how to the challenge of providing cost-efficient performance to a 40nm SoC. Collaboration was key to leveraging these skills across our two companies' engineering team," says ASPEED Technology CEO Chris Lin.

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