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Maxim Integrated - Integration Nation
Allard van der Horst

High-Speed I/O Disintegration

Allard van der Horst
Brad Albing
Brad Albing
3/27/2013 4:34:10 PM
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Re: Hybrid Integration?
>I used to think the same as you outlined, but for a while now I've come to believe otherwise.  We can all agree I'm sure that no one wants a lot of chips on a board. Apple would like to buy 1 chip [snip].  So if Company A doesn't figure that out, Company B will[snip].

Indeed, we agree that we don't want a bunch of ICs on our PC board. One chip that does what I want would be great. And one chip that does what you want would also be great. But the problem is that what I want and what you want are not the same.

Now if I'll buy a million of the part I want and the same for you, then the IC company (or perhaps companies) will be happy o build the ICs and sell them. But if you only want 1000 pieces, then you are either stuck with continuing to have a board full of a bunch of ICs; or you can change your design and maybe come up with a design to use that same IC that I'm buying a million of.

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
3/19/2013 5:51:00 PM
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Integrate or disintegrate?
Allard - indeed it is unusual to see someone from Maxim espousing the opinion that not everything is fair game for integration into a SoC. But of course we need to take a careful look. As engineers, we must examine the needs of a design carefully and decide on the best way to produce the design. So I hope your blog opens things up and gets a few more engineers here to argue each side of this issue. Thanks.

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Comfortable
Comfortable
3/19/2013 2:14:25 PM
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Re: Hybrid Integration?
@Allard -

I used to think the same as you outlined, but for a while now I've come to believe otherwise.  We can all agree I'm sure that noone wants a lot of chips on a board.  Apple would like to buy 1 chip with everything on it, put it in a Jony Ive case and turn the software team loose.  So if Company A doesn't figure that out, Company B will and they will get the business.

Take SNR, your example.  The ultrasound system engineers achieve 160dB SNR through parallel processing.  Lots of parallel paths.  It might take lots of transistors, but they are essentially free.  Going from 5V to 1V is only 14dB.  So if 100dB is achievable at 5V, and parallel processing enables 160dB, certainly there must be a way to find 14dB somewhere in the middle.  Don't you think?

 

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eafpres1
eafpres1
3/19/2013 12:19:42 PM
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Hybrid Integration?
Hi Allard--a lot of people have probably seen the press over the last year or so regarding Silicon Photonics.  That integration challenge is quite huge, and the path has split into a few camps.  One camp I would call the "hybrid" camp; in those designs a sub-system is built on one substrate then bonded to the CMOS in another operation at the wafer level, and eventually a hybrid but integrated part comes out.

Do you see this as a possible future vs. the split design for Analog/Digital integration beyond 28nm?

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