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CEO Interview: Xerxes Wania of Sidense

by Dan Nenni, SemiWiki - Sept. 17, 2016

This is the first in a series of CEO interviews and I thought semiconductor IP would be a great place to start. Xerxes Wania is the President and CEO of Sidense, a leading developer of Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) One-Time Programmable (OTP) IP cores. Sidense has been a part of SemiWiki since 2013 so we know them quite well. I hope the rest of the CEO interviews are as engaging as this one.

CEO Interview: Xerxes Wania of Sidense

Power Management ICs Driving Cost-Effective and Reliable Non-Volatile Memory

Craig Downing — Sidense; published 09-6-2016

The power-management chip market represents a significant share of the worldwide semiconductor market. The power management market comprises a range of devices such as linear regulators, references, voltage supply supervisors, power discretes, power modules, motor controllers, and integrated Power Management ICs (PMICs). Out of this, the largest contribution is from PMICs, whose revenue is forecasted to increase from $11.3B in 2015 for 51B units shipped to $14.7B for 62B units by 2020 (IC Insights).

Power Management ICs Driving Cost-Effective and Reliable Non-Volatile Memory

Customized PMICs with OTP in automotive and IoT

Don Dingee — published 08-24-2016

Power. Every device needs it. Managing it properly can make all the difference between a device people enjoy using and one that is more hassle than it is worth. What happens between the battery and the processor is the job of the power management integrated circuit (PMIC).

Customized PMICs with OTP in automotive and IoT

Detroit Meets Silicon Valley

Andrew Faulkner, Jim Lipman — Sidense; published 05-17-2016

"Not your father's Oldsmobile" was an ad campaign launched in 1988 (at least in the U.S.) to convince buyers that the new Oldsmobiles were more advanced and better looking than what their parents might have had. Although, in retrospect, a bad idea (Oldsmobile ceased making cars in 2000), the campaign was an attempt to advertise that automobiles change over time and that this was desirable. The current state of automotive development brings the pace of change to new levels, adding advanced technology to safety, control, communications, efficiency, and comfort."

Detroit Meets Silicon Valley

Get ready for hypergrade in automotive

Don Dingee – Semiwiki – published 04-18-2016

With use cases expanding, the meaning of "automotive qualified" semiconductors is changing. What we're now hearing about now is beyond the AEC-Q100 Grade 0 upper end of 150°C, while still meeting other reliability, retention, and security requirements. What does hypergrade mean for complex digital chip designs moving forward?

Get ready for hypergrade in automotive

IP Vendor Nabs Top Talent from Semiconductor Industry

Tom Simon – Semiwiki – published 02-07-2016

The growth of mobile and IoT have helped increase the demand for One Time Programmable Non Volatile Memory (OTP NVM) as a solution for on-chip storage. To continue to meet this demand and grow with it, industry leading Sidense has recently brought on board seasoned semiconductor executive Ken Wagner as VP of Engineering.

IP Vendor Nabs Top Talent from Semiconductor Industry

Moving chips from industrial to industrial IoT

Don Dingee — published 05-27-2016

IHS has put out its 1Q2016 Application Market Forecast predicting the highest growth rate segments for semiconductors over the next five years – and what was once old is new yet again. There it is, in the top right corner: industrial, projected to outpace even the automotive sector.

Moving chips from industrial to industrial IoT

Evolution of Non Volatile Memory for Sensitive Data

Tom Simon – Semiwiki – published 12-07-2015

To determine the best medium for any given storage need, we have to step back and look at the data storage requirements for the information we intent to save/use. Today designers can choose from e-fuse, NAND Flash, EEPROM, anti-fuse, mask ROM, or potentially, other types of storage. If security is a concern too then we are most likely left with anti-fuse OTP, such as what is available from Sidense.

Evolution of Non Volatile Memory for Sensitive Data

NVM Security and Power Considerations for Smart Connected Applications

Jim Lipman, Sidense -Published on 11-10-2015

As we rapidly enter the "everything connected to everything" age, IC designers are facing difficult challenges in how they develop the chips that go into what Sidense is calling the Smart Connected Universe. Along with the requirements of low cost, low power and high performance Smart Connected devices now must be highly secure, since a hacked device on a network may make other connected devices vulnerable to attack.

NVM Security and Power Considerations for Smart Connected Applications

Why Sidense OTP is Like the Armored Car of NVM

Tom Simon – Semiwiki – published 09-23-2015

I have written about Sidense before, but last week at the TSMC Open Innovation Platform Forum, I had a chance to hear a talk by, and have lunch with Betina Hold Director of R&D at Sidense. Here is what I learned.

Why Sidense OTP is Like the Armored Car of NVM

IoT and OTP and Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Daniel Nenni – SemiWiki – published 08-29-2015

Have you ever had a peanut butter and bacon sandwich? Everything goes better with bacon! Which brings me to one of my favorite sayings: "(insert two complimentary things) go together like peanut butter and jelly". How about this: "low power and IoT", "IoT and OTP", and "Low Power OTP and Sidense go together like peanut butter and jelly!"

IoT and OTP and Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Take Five with Warren, S.5, Ep.11: Xerxes Wania, Sidense

Published on 23 Apr 2015

Season Finale: We close Season 5 by catching up with Xerxes Wania, President & CEO, Sidense. Warren uncovers Xerxes' history in electronics and gets the low down on what he has been up to since the two worked together at Synopsys. Xerxes shares the ins and outs of startup culture, carving out a tech niche in Canada, and making a name in semiconductors.

Take Five with Warren, S.5, Ep.11: Xerxes Wania, Sidense

Sidense NVM Scores Qualification on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm SLP and HPP

Tom Simon – Published 04-12-2015

Click here to access.

Meeting NVM Requirements for Evolving Mobile Computing Platforms

Andrew Faulkner, Jim Lipman, Sidense -Published on 09-02-2014

Click here to access.

Secure Memory for an Increasingly Connected World

Andrew Faulkner, Jim Lipman, Sidense -Published on 06-17-2014

Click here to access.

Optimizing Sensor Performance with 1T-OTP Trimming

By Jim Lipman
Sidense Corp.

Introduction

A sensor is a device that detects a change in a stimulus and converts it into an electronic signal that can be measured or recorded. The stimulus can be many things, including a physical property, environmental parameter, chemical composition or a location, to name just a few. All sensing elements have nonlinearities that include an intrinsic nonlinearity over sensing range along with offset and sensitivity nonlinearity variations over temperature.

Read more: Optimizing Sensor Performance with 1T-OTP Trimming

Using OTP Memories for High-performance Video

By Paul McLellan Published on 11-01-2013

Click here to access.

NVM memory: A Critical Design Consideration for IoT Applications

By Jim Lipman, Sidense

Click here to access.

Enabling Intelligent Digital Power™ IC solutions with Antifuse-Based 1T-OTP

By Jim Lipman, SIdense and David New, Powervation

Click here to access.

One-Time-Programmable Memory for Power and High-Voltage Semiconductor Applications

By Craig Downing, Sidense.

Click here to view

Is it really a good strategy to compensate marketing weakness by issuing a legal battle?

SemiWiki Blog "Is it really a good strategy to compensate marketing weakness by issuing a legal battle?" by Eric Esteve (April 17, 2013)

The decision made by United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, "Affirming" the District Court for the Northern District of California's summary judgment of non-infringement on Kilopass' patent claims and its dismissal, with prejudice, of all remaining claims against Sidense, is certainly good news for IP and EDA vendors playing a fair sales and marketing game in the field.

http://www.semiwiki.com/forum/content/2249-really-good-strategy-compensate-marketing-weakness-issuing-legal-battle.html

What really means high reliability for OTP NVM?

SemiWiki Blog "What really means high reliability for OTP NVM?" by Eric Esteve (April 2, 2013)

When Sidense announced that their OTP macros are fully qualified for -40ºC to 150°C read and field-programmable operations for TSMC's 180nm BCD 1.8/5V/HV and G 1.8/5V processes, this represents a design challenge probably as difficult to meet that, for example, pushing a Cortex A9 ARM CPU embedded in a 28 nm Application Processor to run at 3 GHz instead of 1.5 GHz.

http://www.semiwiki.com/forum/content/2190-what-really-means-high-reliability-otp-nvm.html

Podcast "Amelia’s Weekly Fish Fry", Electronic Engineering Journal

Podcast "Amelia’s Weekly Fish Fry", Electronic Engineering Journal by Amelia Dalton (interview with Xerxes Wania) – March 15, 2013

All aboard! The train is leaving the station.This week we’re taking the EE express from EDA station through some twisty turns in the mountainous region of ethics in our fair semiconductor industry, and then it's on over the hill to some awesome energetic engineering. We're checking out the EDA goodness that is CDNLive including the seriously Sci-Fi movie in one of this year's keynotes. On our next stop, we're looking into the role that ethics plays (and should play) in the semiconductor industry with Xerxes Wania (CEO - Sidense), and we're also grooving to a whole new way to do The Harlem Shake - engineering style.

http://www.eejournal.com/archives/articles/20130315-fishfry/

Boost your car with OTP based Analog Trimming and Calibration

SemiWiki Blog "Boost your car with OTP based Analog Trimming and Calibration" by Eric Esteve (March 1, 2013)

Embedded NVM technology based functions can be implemented in large SoC designed in advanced technology nodes down to 28nm, as there is no requirement for extra mask levels, like when integrating NAND Flash, negatively impacting the final cost. And it is also possible to integrate One Time Programmable (OTP) to store trim and calibration settings in an analog device, usually designed in more mature technology node, so that the device powers up already calibrated for the system in which it is embedded.

http://www.semiwiki.com/forum/content/2089-boost-your-car-otp-based-analog-trimming-calibration.html

Jim Lipman interview with Sean O'Kane ChipEstimate.TV at TSMC OIP Forum

 

Featured Tech Talk: Using Antifuse 1T-OTP for Analog Trimming and Calibration

Tech Talk featured by ChipEstimate.com.  Written by Craig Downing and Jim Lipman, Sidense

Abstract -   

Analog ICs, sensors and mixed-signal SoCs that include analog circuitry, such as Power Management ICs (PMICs), need to meet precise specifications for analog signal behavior. Variations in chip processing and effects of the packaging process result in unpredictable deviations of analog circuits and sensors from their target specifications. To compensate for these deviations, analog circuitry needs to be trimmed or calibrated by adjusting part of the circuitry, for example, resistance values that vary the behavior of an analog-to-digital converter. In addition, as IC developers continue to strive for reduced power consumption and cost by moving to smaller geometries, the problem of optimizing the analog circuitry becomes more important as process variations tend to have a larger effect on analog circuit behavior.

Read the complete story....

eMTP Featured Tech Talk March 29, 2011

Article "Using Cost-Effective and Secure Field-Programmable 1T-OTP to Emulate MTP" by Jim Lipman and Craig Downing, Sidense

Abstract -   Applications for non-volatile memory (NVM) encompass a wide range of programming requirements. Some products require one-time programmable (OTP) memory that is programmed during chip fabrication – mask ROM is good for this purpose if the code is frozen. Other products need field-programmable OTP for applications such as analog trimming, necessitating the use of secure in-system programmable NVM.

To view the entire article see the attached PDF 1T OTP for eMTP Applications.

Using 1T-OTP in FPGAs

Article "Using 1T-OTP in FPGAs and other Reconfigurable Logic" by Eddy Huang and Jim Lipman, Sidense

Abstract -   Introduction
Driven by the demands of the consumer electronics marketplace – low price points and constantly shrinking design cycles – programmable logic and reconfigurable silicon solutions are rapidly gaining acceptance by chip designers for a wide range of product development. Being able to accelerate code development on a completed hardware platform and to reconfigure logic on a chip to handle different computational requirements are just two of the reasons designers are using reconfigurable hardware in their products.

To view the entire article see the attached PDF OTP in FPGAs.

An article published in the March 2010 GSA Forum

Article "A Flexible, Field-programmable ROM Replacement" by Jim Lipman, Marketing Director, Sidense and Todd Humes, Vice President, Product Engineering, Sidense

Abstract -   For large amounts of on-chip code and data, mask read-only memory (ROM) provides an inexpensive and easily programmed storage mechanism. However, the inability to configure ROM after wafer processing means that information stored in the ROM cannot be changed in the field.  Read the complete story....

Designing IP for Process Portability Maximizes Reuse

Article in ChipDesignMag.com by Jim Lipman, Marketing Director, Sidense

Abstract -   When evaluating IP attributes, IP integrators consider several parameters including cost, testability, availability of proven silicon, level of support and performance. However, one important consideration is often either ignored or assigned a low level of importance – portability between silicon foundries at the same process node. This is unfortunate, since maximizing IP reusability goes beyond reuse of that IP in different chips. Designers must also consider IP reuse at the same process node but at different foundries, particularly important for third-party IP providers, as well as potential future migration of the IP to other process nodes.  Read the complete story....

Tech Tip: Successful IP Equals Product plus Service

Article in IP-Extreme.com by Jim Lipman, Marketing Director, Sidense,

Abstract -   Suppliers in various evolving segments of the semiconductor industry have learned, often painfully, that customer service goes hand-in-hand with a good product. This has certainly been true for EDA and ASIC vendors and now has become a key differentiator for silicon IP.  Read the complete story....

Foundry-Friendly Memory IP for Analog Trimming and Sensor Calibration

Jim Lipman, Marketing Director, Sidense

Integrating third-party silicon memory intellectual property (IP) is not simple. While IP integrators are looking for turnkey IP solutions, problems caused by foundry differences at the same process node, difficulties associated with process scalability, and variability of both fabrication processes and analog circuits and sensors make "foundry-friendly" memory IP design for mixed-signal chips difficult.

This article discusses the requirements for analog trimming and sensor conditioning mechanisms, and describes the architecture and technology of a reliable, embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) that minimizes dependence on foundry-specific process steps. The field programmable memory and support circuitry can be implemented in standard logic CMOS processes, is inherently scalable to leading edge process nodes, and is very tolerant of process variability - a key consideration below 90-nanometers. When implemented in silicon, memory macros based on this technology provide an efficient mechanism for in situ digital calibration of analog sensors, such as those encountered in automotive and industrial applications, and for trimming analog circuitry to increase silicon yield.

Read more: Foundry-Friendly Memory IP for Analog Trimming and Sensor Calibration

IEC Executive Perspectives DesignCon 2009 Xerxes Wania, President and CEO

Podcast on IEC  Executive Perspectives  DesignCon 2009  with Xerxes Wania, President and CEO, SIdense Corp.
Abstract - Sidense with Xerxes Wania, President and CEO.
 
 
 

IP Lightens Up

Article in New Electronics by Louise Joselyn,

Abstract -   Semiconductor IP is proving one of the few glimmers of light in a gloomy high tech market. Despite a slow start and a poor outlook in the early 1990s, the IP market has defeated its many sceptics and is enjoying significant annual growth.  Read the complete story....

Sidense Makes the List: EE Times Updates List of Emerging Startups

Article in EE Times by Peter Clarke,

Abstract -   The list of EE Times 60 Emerging Startups, first published in April 2004, has been updated to version 8.0, reflecting the latest corporate, commercial, technology and market conditions. Twenty-three companies have been brought onto the Silicon 60.  Read the complete story....

Up-And-Comers Threaten Flash Memory's Supremacy

Article in ElectronicDesign.com by Richard Quinnell,

Abstract -   As the decade closes, the major battleground in memory technology lies squarely with nonvolatile (NV) devices.   Read the complete story....

Antifuse Memory IP Fuels Low-power Designs

Article in EETimes.com by Jim Lipman,

Abstract -   Embedded nonvolatile memory is becoming more prevalent in a wide range of chips, particularly for power-sensitive applications.  Read the complete story....

Designing Low-Power Field-Programmable OTP Memory Arrays

Article in ChipEstimate.com by Jim Lipman,

Abstract -  With off-chip memory access being one of the major contributors to chip power dissipation, designers are turning to embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) for a variety of mobile and other power-sensitive applications.  Read the complete story....

CFRA Market Monitor

Meet Us - Conference/Event Listings
Podcast on CFRA with Walter Traversy and Pina Bernardi
Abstract - Local profile of Sidense with Xerxes Wania, President and CEO.

EE Times updates list of emerging startups

Article in EE Times by Peter Clarke

Abstract - The EE Times 60 Emerging Startups list, first published in April 2004, has been updated to version 7.0 to reflect the latest corporate, commercial, technology and market conditions. Read the complete story....

Why Replacing ROM with 1T-OTP Makes Sense

Article in ChipEstimate by Jim Lipman

Abstract - The microelectronics industry is noteworthy for its innovations in both technology and design methodology. Read the complete story....

Sidense snags $6M in new funding

Article in The Ottawa Citizen by Bert Hill,

Abstract - Sidense Inc., a four-year-old Ottawa startup, has stepped out of stealth mode to announce $6 million in new funding to drive sales and marketing. Read the complete story....

Notes from ESC Sidense: OTP memory IP slipping between the stereotypes

Article in EDN by Ron Wilson,

Abstract - If you ask system designers today about one-time-programmable memory, they tend to think either of large, mask-programmed chips used for code storage, or of tiny amounts--bits or bytes--of embedded OTP used to store ID numbers, encryption keys, or trimming data on chips. Read the complete story....

Thanks for the LNV Memory

Article in EDA Weekly by Peggy Aycinena

Lucky were those who attended a feisty event last October in Silicon Valley entitled:
The LNVM Imperative: What You Must Know!

It not only included breakfast, it also included a smorgasbord of useful info served up by a panel of brainiacks – experts all of them – on the topic of logical nonvolatile memory, LNVM.
If you missed that tasty 3-hour feast, this is the fast-food recap. Appetizers are courtesy of iSuppli's Jordan Selburn. The main course comes by way of eMemory Technology's Charles Hsu, Impinj's Larry Morrell, and Virage Logic's David Sowards. Dessert and coffee are attributable to Sidense Corp.'s Xerxes Wania. Read the complete story....

Secure, One-Time Programmable Memory for DCP Encryption Key Storage Applications

Article in ChipEstimate by Wlodek Kurjanowicz

ABSTRACT High-definition digital content is driving advanced security requirements for SoCs. Millions of people will buy products with Digital Content Protection (DCP) to view, listen and communicate, thus creating a huge need to protect consumer data and intellectual property (IP) from theft. Read the complete story....

OTP for DCP Key Storage

Article in Design & Reuse by Wlodek Kurjanowicz

ABSTRACT High-definition digital content is driving advanced security requirements for SoCs. Millions of people will buy products with Digital Content Protection (DCP) to view, listen and communicate, thus creating a huge need to protect consumer data and intellectual property (IP) from theft. Read the complete story....

Sidense Wins Design Slot in XMOS Silicon

Article in EE Times by Peter Clarke

London - Sidense Corp. (Ottawa, Canada), a develop of antifuse-based non-volatile memory, has announced that its one-time programmable (OTP) technology has been designed into a software-programmable semiconductor product from XMOS Semiconductor Ltd. (Bristol, England). Read the complete story....

1T OTP Memory: Delivering Quality and Reliability

Article in ChipEstimate by Wlodek Kurjanowicz

Abstract - Today's consumer electronic and wireless markets are under heavy pressure to reduce costs, increase performance, minimize power consumption and increase security. Read the complete story....

Startup Checkup 2007

Article in Ottawa Business Journal by Jeff Pappone

Abstract - Victories, retreats and retrenchments in Ottawa's Tech sector
It's time to see how the fickle winds of fate have treated our Startups to Watch for 2007, and it's definitely proven to be a better year for some than others. Read the complete story....

Sidense Gains Market Momentum Looks to Double Number of Engineers

Article in Design and Reuse
August 14, 2006, Ottawa, ON: Sidense Corporation, a two year old firm specializing in Memory Semiconductor Intellectual Property Cores is on a hiring spree and plans to double the number of engineers on staff at their Canadian design center. Read the complete story....

Sidense on ROBTv

Sidense was featured on Report On Business Television (ROBTv), Michael Vaughan Live. Sidense's President and C.E.O. was interviewed by Michael Vaughan and a couple of Venture Capital firms. The venture capital firms gave Sidense two thumbs up and was invited to follow-up meetings.

 

Canadian startup launches fuse-memory

Article in EE Times by Peter Clarke.

LONDON - Sidense Corp., a startup formed by Polish engineers, has said it has developed a fuse-based one-time programmable non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) core targeted at a standard logic CMOS manufacturing process. Read the complete story....

Sidense introduces 1T-Fuse(TM), an Embedded Non-Volatile Memory technology, in Logic CMOS process

Sidense Corp., an Ottawa startup announced today, that it has developed an embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) core targeted to the most widely used, standard logic digital CMOS process. Read the complete story....

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