Triad Semiconductor Inc. (Triad), a US based supplier of via-configurable mixed-signal ASICs, has introduced a new family of ARM Powered via-configurable arrays (VCAs). The new device combines the ARM CortexTM-M0 processor with the silicon-proven analog, digital and memory building blocks on an array that can be configured by changing a single via layer. The VCA technology combines silicon-proven analog, digital, memory and now microprocessor resources on a single ASIC die.

The new Triad Mocha family extends the VCA benefits of system cost savings, rapid time to market, significantly reduced risk and support for any production volume to applications that require 32-bit performance in an 8/16-bit footprint with ultra-low power consumption.

Because the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 processor occupies only 12 k gates, including an integrated timer and interrupt controller, it is ideal for integration into company’s Mocha family architecture, which addresses the needs of what is, in fact, an analog world. This architecture contains a rich set of configurable analog functions, including: op-amps, comparators, active filters, switched capacitor filters, ADCs, DACs, voltage regulators and capacitive sensor interfaces. These analog resources are tightly coupled with configurable digital logic, plus RAM and non-volatile memory. Combining the Cortex-M0 core with these configurable analog and digital building blocks makes the Mocha family ideal for realizing a wide range of single-chip mixed-signal system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for medical, industrial, sensor and military/aerospace applications.

The different members of the Mocha VCA family will provide exactly the analog, digital and processor capacities needed by specific applications, allowing designers to create optimum custom single-chip solutions. Mocha-based ASICs will be ideal for intelligent sensors, automatic meter readers, consumer peripherals, power management, precision analog applications, battery-powered products and portable medical devices.

“We’re excited about the introduction of Triad’s Mocha VCA family because it represents an ideal way to bring the advantages of the low-power ARM Cortex-M0 core to the deeply embedded market,” said Richard York, director of product marketing, Processor Division, ARM ”The combination of the lowest power 32-bit processor with analog and digital functions in a structure that can be implemented by changing a single via layer will speed the adoption of the technology across a broad range of applications.”

“As the lowest power ARM processor available, the Cortex-M0 processor allows our customers to develop SoCs that meet the growing demand for ultra-low power analog mixed-signal devices operating at ever-increasing performance levels in a wide range of next-generation applications,” said Jim Kemerling, vice president and CTO of Triad Semiconductor. “Combining it with the silicon-proven via-configurable analog and digital technology of the Mocha family provides the fastest, safest and most cost-effective way to design, prototype and produce advanced, power-efficient mixed-signal ASICs.”

About Via-Configurable Arrays:

The microprocessor resources are overlaid with a global routing fabric. Unique to Triad’s approach, all of the resources on a VCA are configured by placing vias within the global routing fabric. Vias are placed on the VCA using Triad’s advanced, analog-aware, via-only automatic place-and-route software, which configures and interconnects the entire VCA without the need for full-custom manual layout. This approach shortens time to prototypes and time to market, reduces development and tooling costs, and accelerates the design process by enabling the reuse of proven mixed-signal IP blocks.