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ZF Micro and IN2FAB Collaborate to Migrate the ZFx86 chip to IBM Microelectronics FoundryZF Micro Solutions and IN2FAB Technology announce the successful collaboration to migrate the ZFx86 “PC-in-a-Chip” which is now in volume production with IBM Microelectronics
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA & BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, UK, 9 May, 2008 – ZF Micro Solutions Incorporated and IN2FAB Technology announce the successful migration of the ZFx86 PC-on-a-Chip which is now in volume production at IBM Microelectronics’ wafer facility in Burlington, Vermont.
IN2FAB provided migration services and tools to ZF in order to migrate the ZFx86 chip to IBM’s process technology. Previously ZF announced a multi-year foundry services agreement with IBM Corp.’s Microelectronics Group (see October 12, 2005 story) following settlement of litigation with National Semiconductor Corp (see June 16, 2004 story). In order to resume volume manufacturing it was necessary for ZF to move the chip to a new foundry source and ZF selected IN2FAB to provide its migration technology, expertise and services for this purpose.
The requirement was for IN2FAB to migrate the entire chip which included a Cyrix 486DX core, north and south bridges, peripheral analog components, memory, PCI & ISA buses, multiple interface devices (EIDE, I2C, and parallel/serial ports, etc.), I/O and ESD structures. ZF had announced a goal to have chips from the new foundry source available in a six month timeframe. IN2FAB used its proprietary OSIRIS migration tools to migrate and scale the original database to meet the target IBM process rules.
Through a combination of close collaborative project working between ZF, IBM’s engineering team and IN2FAB, ZF was successful in achieving its goal. First time working silicon was realized and most notably ZF successfully booted the PC BIOS and Linux during the initial stages of device qualification.
The ZFx86 is now successfully running in volume production servicing both existing customers as well as new PC-in-a-Chip design wins.
Commenting on this accomplishment David L. Feldman, ZF Micro Devices President and Chief Executive Officer said “The ZFx86 has a well earned reputation in the marketplace for the lowest power and bill of materials cost for a PC-in-a-Chip. It was essential to our business mission to rapidly migrate our chip to IBM and thereafter achieve volume production at the earliest possible time in order to meet customer demand. IN2FAB proved to be an invaluable and unique design partner for ZF by bringing its technology and expertise in design migration to bear on this project. We were delighted by the quality of result. Achieving first time working silicon and successfully running the BIOS and OS across the specified temperature range was a remarkable outcome”.
Robert Baker IN2FAB CEO added “Migrating the ZFx86 was a challenging project but one we are pleased to have participated and succeeded in. The chip and I/O were migrated physically correct (DRC, LVS) in approximately six weeks and in the following months IN2FAB assisted ZF during the release to manufacturing and characterization programs. Although the bulk of IN2FAB’s migration business is in analog mixed signal IP and chips we have previously ported a number of microprocessor based chips and this project is a prime example of the extent to which our migration tools and engineering skills can be applied to complex designs in this case a 35mm square device in a 388 BGA package. We take a lot of pleasure from knowing we played an important role in supporting ZF Micro’s ongoing success in their market”.
ZF is a privately held company founded by David Feldman, the creator of the PC/104 IEEE standard and the 5¼ inch EBX form factor embedded SBC. The ZFx86 is a System-on-a-Chip incorporating 486 motherboard functionality in a single device. It runs a wide variety of operating systems including DOS, Linux, Windows and most Real-Time systems and comes bundled with the ZF Embedded BIOS so OEMs do not incur license fees or expensive and time-consuming BIOS ports. The patented ZF FailSafe System makes it the only X86 System-on-a-Chip that boots autonomously on power-up and functions even if all system software has been destroyed or corrupted. Feldman pioneered FailSafe systems in 1995. ZF Micro Solutions is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA. Contact: or (www.zfmicro.com).
About ZF Micro Incorporated