Intelligent clock network platform for SoC designs

April 26, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Intelligent clock network platform for SoC designs
Clock distribution network platform developer Movellus has announced a clock network platform that intelligently orchestrates clock distribution in system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

The Maestro Intelligent Clock Network platform is designed to provide critical clocking capabilities that address complex clock distribution requirements in modern SoCs, including AI applications in the cloud and at the edge. The Maestro clocking solutions, says the company, dramatically improve the entire chip's power, performance, and area in a wide variety of markets.

Influencing every aspect of the system from timing closure to peak power demand, and from chip architecture to layout, the clock is one of the most complex signals in an SoC. The Maestro platform is designed to address the SoC-level clock distribution challenges experienced with designs of all sizes and technology nodes.

"The complexity of today's SoC designs, especially with the emergence of new AI chip architectures, is mind boggling," says Mo Faisal, President and CEO of Movellus. "We see large scale designs with thousands of processors on a chip. We see IoT designs with nanowatt power requirements. System designers want to do things today that, quite frankly, would not be possible using traditional clock distribution solutions. Customers are very excited by the new capabilities intelligent clock networks bring. With the diversity of new and emerging architectures, there is a genuine and growing market need for them."

Currently, says the company, clocking challenges are addressed by overdesigning the system, creating further costs including up to 30% to 50% overhead of the SoC power and area. Furthermore, these designs end up limiting maximum clock frequency and consequently limit performance.

The Maestro platform is designed to automate the development of robust clock network solutions with powerful new capabilities. It combines a clock architecture, software automation, and application-optimized IP to solve common clock distribution challenges.

Maestro is offered as the only platform that provides end-to-end all-digital clocking network solutions, which offer better power, performance and area (PPA) and superior operating characteristics compared to traditional solutions. Additionally, they can scale to high-performance multi-gigahertz frequencies while occupying only a small footprint.

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