A Visit to Uniquify -- Unique and Impressive

As per Josh Lee and Bob Smith, design teams need to rely on third-party IP to get their projects completed on time and within budget . The IP content of today’s chips can be 50-70% or more driven by global competition for electronic consumer devices. As a result, companies such as Uniquify are thriving due to expanding their services to offer a more complete solution to address the needs of these sophisticated buyers. After all, IP is not the end goal. The end goal is a working chip that adds value to an electronic system.

Uniquify has invested in developing a larger portfolio of high-performance, silicon-proven IP building blocks than just the DDR memory controller subsystem IP that is poised to become a de facto industry standard. Add on an experienced team with expertise in design, IP design, qualification and integration and manufacturing

operations and the ideas2silicon offering that spans chip specification, design and IP integration through the volume delivery of packaged and tested parts.

The EDACafe team is getting tired but excited at this juncture.

As we huddle over a conference room table wrapping up our discussion, Josh Lee does some quick, back-of-a-napkin calculations and figures that Uniquify’s designs have been implemented in over 50 consumer electronics devices. Those include flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, networking devices, cameras and many other consumer products. Each of these are used by hundreds of thousands, even millions of consumers. Uniquify has a long reach.


Uniquely Silicon Valley: Industry Trend-Setter, Thought Leader

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground in this profile of a uniquely Silicon Valley company. By now, the more cynical reader is probably thinking that Uniquify happens to be in the right place at the right time. You may be right up to a point, but we see an innovative trendsetter. Uniquify’s three-point strategy proves there’s more than sheer luck at work here.

I’m now ready as well to deem Uniquify an industry thought leader, moving our industry’s taxonomy from the traditional “system-on-chip” to “Super SoC.” Uniquify believes that SSoCs are the new reality for design teams working on the latest consumer electronic devices.

According to Uniquify and industry chroniclers, an SoC is a device with on-board processor, memory, a special-purpose processing engine or engines, peripheral interfaces and I/O. The new generation of SSoC devices, as suggested by Uniquify, has multiple processors, along with special purpose processing engines, on-chip networks, multiple memories and many different peripheral and I/O functions. SSoC devices are being fabricated at 40nm processes, with the latest generation being implemented in 28nm and moving to 20nm. Another point Uniquify makes when defining SSoC is increasing IP content in SSoCs, makes them far more complex to design and implement than SoCs.

Of course, Josh Lee and Bob Smith will advise developing a well-defined SSoC design methodology and carefully selecting the right IP and design services partner is critical to success.

From what we’ve seen, Uniquify should be the top of every short list.


As the EDACafe.com contingent of two walk out of the Uniquify office and head to rhe writer's car, we make mental notes to keep an eye on this company because we believe it’s going places and not just to a new corporate headquarters. When we check in again on Uniquify, the company will be in larger office space in Silicon Valley, and may even be ready to expand yet again. The change in locale, however, won’t diminish the fun, or a corporate culture of hard work, top-notch results and play when the day’s over. That’s why Uniquify is uniquely Silicon Valley.



Once again the IBSystems Contributing Editor and EDA Commentary writer is deeply indebted to Ms. Nanette V. Collins for her role in the topic choice, the choice of company to visit, and composing the first draft of this article.  This makes at least the fourth collaboration, and each one is better than the last.
Thank you, Nanette.


ASIC: Application Specific Integrated Circuit

CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

CEO: Chief Executive Officer

CTO: Chief Technical Officer

DAC: Design Automation Conference

DDR: Double Data Rate, a class of memory chips

DSCL: Dynamic Self-Calibrating Logic

nm: Nanometer

I/O: Input/Output

IP: Intellectual Property

RTL: Register Transfer Level

SCL: Self-Calibrating Logic

SoC: System on Chip

SSoC: Super System on Chip

TSMC: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

TV: Television


Past Uniquify coverage:

1. GSA Forum: “Consumer Electronic Demand Driving Fundamental Shifts in Semiconductor Design and Intellectual Property” by Josh Lee



2. GABEonEDA: “The Business of IP” by Josh Lee



3. GABEonEDA: “The Move to IP Standards” by Josh Lee



4. GABEonEDA: “DAC Offers Visibility and Priceless Opportunities” by Bob Smith



5. EDACafe Blog What would Joe do? Uniquify: “The Vision is crystal clear” by Peggy Aycinena



6. EE Times: “Self-Calibrating logic IP for DDR addresses dynamic variation” by Kristin Lewotsky



7. EETimes: “Gearing Up for DAC – IP, Flows and Services” by Brian Bailey



8. DeepChip: INDUSTRY GADFLY: "My Cheesy Must See List for DAC 2012" by John Cooley



9. EE Journal: “Keeping DDR Performance Fresh” by Bryon Moyer



10. EE Journal Fish Fry: “The Delicate Divide Between Dreams and Reality,” by Amelia Dalton


ASIC/SoC design and manufacturing services provider.



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