SPiDCOM Technologies, the French fabless semiconductor company specializing in integrated circuits and Linux-based software bundles for Multimedia Home Networking, has used Toshiba’s 90nm CMOS ASIC platform, mixed-signal IP and European technical support services to develop its first HomePlug AV system-on-chip (SoC).
The SPC3XX family ‘No Limits’ HomePlug AV powerline communications IC provides a fully integrated, single-chip solution for applications that use powerline communications for the distribution of ‘triple-play’ services throughout the home. Supplied in a 265-pin PBGA package, the SPC300 is built on Toshiba’s TC300 90nm ASIC technology and combines an open dual-core architecture with a variety of multimedia and general-purpose interfaces.
SPiDCOM and engineers at Toshiba Electronics Europe’s ELDEC (European LSI Design and Engineering Centre) facility in Düsseldorf worked together in the development of the new SoC. Key elements of the design include the implementation of an embedded ARM926EJ-S core capable of running at 300MHz and the seamless integration of mixed-signal IP blocks for the management of features such as power-on-reset (PoR) and innovative spread spectrum clock generation (SSCG).
Toshiba’s ELDEC team also took responsibility for extensive testing of the chip design. A boundary scan JTAG controller was inserted to allow for control and observation of special cell tests for PoR, PLL and spread spectrum clock generation. Transition delay testing using on-chip clocking, high-speed memory BIST analysis and test pattern generation were also handled by Toshiba.
SPiDCOM’s dual-core HomePlug AV IC uses its first processor to handle physical layer management and other real-time requirements and the ARM926EJ-S core for application-specific processing. The IC integrates a 10/100/1000 Ethernet MAC, an RMII/MII/GMII PHY interface and multimedia connectivity such as PCM, I2S, and MPEG-TS. General purpose interfaces include UART, SPI and support for 8-bit parallel connections. A low-power standby mode minimises power consumption, while the open architecture based on LINUX v2.6 supports innovative and low-cost customer development.