A Team to Deliver your IoT Custom Chip Design

Our clients look to Sondrel to successfully deliver cost competitive, secure, power efficient chips for Industrial IoT, smart city and consumer technology products.

These designs often include wireless connectivity, advanced processors, and increasingly neural networks to enable limited AI capabilities. Such devices are commonly termed 'edge nodes', having onboard computing power that distinguish them from the more basic end node devices where raw data is simply fed back up to the cloud for processing.

Insight

'IC revenues for Internet of Things (IoT) functionality in a wide range of systems, sensors, and objects are expected to reach $34.2 billion in four years compared to $18.4 billion last year’

IC Insight report. December 2017

AI Moves to 'The Edge'

'In 2018, we'll see a move towards distributed AI 'at the edge' with AI compute performed on the device itself.'

Source: Arm 2018
An IoT Chip Built Using an ARM SDK-200 Subsystem

Keeping Your Costs Down

As with any technology solution, a market-leading IoT design requires a deep understanding of the semiconductor supply chain. Your knowledge and choice of suitable IP, foundry, package type, technology, and engineering resource will substantially affect your build cost, and crucially, your packaged end unit cost. Even for so-called ‘smaller’ designs – there’s a lot to think about. 

You can take confidence in our knowledge of the silicon supply chain, as we guide you through this process towards a successful outcome.

Cost Reduction

Reduction of a long components list down to one ASIC should save you money, reduce supply chain complexity and reduce circuit board field failure rates. 

Reduction of Form Factor

For many IoT applications size of device is a key driver to choosing the ASIC path. For performance and business reasons, small is beautiful! 

IP Protection

In competitive markets it must be assumed your circuit board will be bought by competitors and analysed, often copied. This is much harder to do when the system is on one encrypted ASIC. 

Security

Protecting design copyright, protection against hacking, enabling field updates and improvements. Security boils down to “what do you wish to protect and who from”.  

Differentiation

It’s tempting to use an off-the-shelf chip from a main industry supplier. But isn’t that what your competitors are doing? If you want unique selling points (USP) for your product, you’ll need to invest in them.

Control of your Supply Chain

Your bill of materials may run to 100s of parts from 10s of suppliers. With an ASIC this could be 1 part number, 1 item. 

​Low Power

It’s not just about the battery life, it’s also about the manpower cost to replace a battery in a remote field located node. Low power design increases service intervals, turning a problem into a potential USP. 

Watch this animation that talks through the semiconductor supply chain and the pitfalls you should avoid when building a custom chip...

IoT for Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is the term used to describe the current revolution in automation and data management within manufacturing technologies. In an industrial setting, IoT edge nodes will be used to drive this automation and improved processing capability. These edge nodes will become increasingly complex, requring a larger digital element. They will take the form of ‘hubs’, that will process more information locally without having to rely on a cloud connection. This will help to avoid network security liabilities and will enable you to turn collected data into actionable intelligence quickly. It will also bring down data management and processing costs. This trend is connected to the continued development and adoption of AI technology. AI technology, for example, can support real-time data analytics within a factory setting, enabling quicker response times to changing conditions, thus increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.

Insight

‘The benefits that technology afford businesses in terms of efficiency, security and the ability to control systems in real time is widely acknowledged. However, the cost of adoption and existing legacy systems are barriers that prevent some businesses moving forward. We believe that businesses need to consider the problem from a different angle by asking themselves, ‘What is the cost of not adopting?’

Graham Curren, Sondrel CEO

Arm DesignStart

We work with Arm, as a DesignStart Partner, to support clients who choose to use Arm technology to build secure low power custom solutions.

Watch this animation that explains how we can help you get the most out of your custom build

Security

Sondrel’s experience in implementing security through the design process of an ASIC is only one part of a very important security chain that must then extend through the life cycle of your product. 

Tools and techniques can be deployed in the design phase that ensure the simple management of critical intellectual property, and secure key management to establish core Root of Trust. 

For lifecycle-based security we would turn to one of our supply chain partners, Secure Thingz, whose Secure Deploy architecture has been designed to enhance and simplify security implementations across the lifecycle of product creation, manufacture, and management.