Design-rule checking software speeds mixed-signal-programmable designs

October 21, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Silego Technology claims that its GPAK Designer Software enables engineers to integrate up to 20 components into the company's programmable GPAK2 Mixed-signal Matrix in 20 minutes, for less than $0.20.

Silego’s GPAK families of products are one-time NVM (non-volatile-memory) programmable Mixed Signal Matrix devices designed to integrate common discrete medium-precision analogue and digital ICs and passive devices into a single device. The integration into a 2.5 x 2.5 mm GPAK (about the size of a SOT23) saves board space, power, and often significant cost. GPAK Designer software closely resembles schematic capture software allowing the engineer to quickly map an existing schematic to the GPAK internal components in minutes. The GPAK development kit completes the development process by programming the new custom IC, provides a multi-channel signal generator for test, and the optional Silego oscilloscope measures the new outputs. The entire development system is USB powered enabling an engineer to generate a new tested custom chip without ever going the lab.

The company's Mixed Signal Matrix Division has now announced an updated version of GPAK Designer that adds a new Design Rule Checker function. The sophisticated DRC automatically analyses a design and then flags errors, and provides warnings and tips. Engineers working with GPAK ICs are now more productive and finishing error free designs in less than 20 minutes.

“Our goal with GPAK2 is to allow customers to integrate 20 components in 20 minutes for 20 cents,” said John McDonald, VP of Marketing. “The product and software enhancements enable more customers to achieve the promise of this little chip more easily, and with higher performance. Our GPAK chips are currently saving customers up to 90% in PCB board area and saving power in applications including power supply sequencing, sensor interfaces, programmable resets, and lighting control.”

GPAK 2 (SLG46400V) is packaged in a 12 pin 2.5 x 2.5 mm TDFN package. Target applications include point of sale devices, peripheral boards, and PC reference designs, especially in designs where space, cost, and design security are important and quick revisions are the norm; as well as tablets, smartphones, and notebooks where space, cost, and