Encore Semi’s vision is to deliver the most cost-effective solutions for IPs, SoCs and Systems, compliant to Functional Safety (FuSa) requirements.
Our strategy is to combine our core expertise in SoC design, IP design, Software development and Systems knowledge, with our functional safety and ISO 26262 leadership, to help our customers to develop compliant & certification-ready semiconductor and platform solutions.
Encore Semi’s experts are highly knowledgeable about the safety-related standards, but most importantly about how to apply the standardized methods in the context of SoC, IP or software development.
Our team has the expertise to guide our customers and provide custom methodologies to help them develop Fault-Robust Designs, compliant with targeted SIL/ASIL (Safety Integrity Level/Automotive Safety Integrity Level). Safety Architects can provide methods to implement safety functions at the SoC/IP and Software levels. Proper level of risk mitigation can then be achieved for products, with cost-effective diagnostic/prognostic & safety mechanisms to detect and mitigate HW random failures during the operational life of the product, with desired and compliant end-state of fail-safe, fail operational, or fail degraded techniques.
Several expertise domains have been at the heart of the development of our FuSa Center of Expertise:
Safety Compliance assessment – Encore Semi FuSa team can support various compliance assessments for ISO 26262 and other safety-related standards. Most importantly, it is used to educate the various teams and stakeholders contributing to the design and implementation of a product. This education can go from a global evangelization of the organization, to the individual training or a customer FuSa engineer. Our FuSa team has extensive expertise to support the complete assortment of safety analysis tasks:
- Safety Architecture & design analysis: includes architecture vulnerability analysis, safety mechanism efficiency metrics, support of safety mechanism design, dependent failure analysis, development of documentation, specifications and procedures (test specifications, hardware FIT robustness, safety validation test development).
- Safety Case Compliance support: ensure product documents are prepared correctly for standard compliance, argue the various safety cases and manage activities with assessor.
- Requirements Management for FuSa compliance: define functional/technical requirements to support safety compliance. Define safety requirements regarding tools, SysML model-based requirements development; Deployment and integration of safety-related tools such as Doors, Medini Analyze, Synthesis Development tools (Cadence/Synopsys/Mentor/etc.); HARA & HAZOP analysis or Safety Critical Analysis; Development of IEC/ISO knowledge base; Document templates and processes for each development life-cycle phase (Concept, development, V&V Test Plans, release to production & decommissioning).
Safety ecosystem policy deployment – Encore Semi has invested in a homegrown Safety Policy Framework. This set of configurable documents is allowing our teams of FuSa experts to rapidly deliver a Custom IP Developer Safety Policy that our customers can deploy across its eco-system and supply chain. This is a critical part of the overall safety strategy as it massively reduces the amount of effort from the integrators, as the IP provider is guided to align and prepare all documents and assessments required to minimize the work of the integrator. Our customers and their eco-system can count on Encore semi to also provide all the training support necessary to cost-effectively execute the various safety-related obligations.
Safe System Architecture Design – Using SysML or more generally a Model-Based Design for System Architecture Development & Review (HSI Interface Safety Analysis, Failure Vulnerability Analysis); Mapping the SW/HW Safety Requirements to the architecture; optimizing the SW/HW partitioning for best Safety Design. Combines HW and SW features achieves fault tolerance by allowing the product to continue to function safely despite the existence of faults, even if product performance may be diminished or otherwise altered, through fault detection and reaction/correction/avoidance techniques and designs.
Hardware Design For Safety (DFS) – Design and implementation of Diagnostic and Safety Mechanisms to enable the compliance to safety requirements; Tools based Safety Critical Analysis, using Medini Analyze or equivalent; Hardware Reliability FITS estimates; Tool-based FMEDA, FTA qualitative, quantitative analysis, Safety mechanism efficiencies and effectiveness can be developed for both IP and SoCs.
Software Design for Safety – Architecture review, development of software (Unit & Integration) safety-focused testbenches, leverage the hardware Integration of safety mechanisms, Software Safety compliance to ISO 26262, using tool-based HAZOP and FMEDA.
Encore Semi can support the development of hardware-based or software-based safety mechanisms, including diagnostic and prognostics using simulation and fault injection techniques to achieve Fault-Robustness of customer products.
The software development and testing activities of Encore Semi are focused on projects requiring highly optimized and highly constraints solutions. Examples of projects that our team supports are:
- Enterprise-grade SSD stack development/optimization/customization
- Bare-metal low-latency load distribution software for HPC architecture
- DB architecture, data modeling and data mining for big-data system
- Device drivers: Linux, Windows and a number of other RTOS’s
- Class III Medical Devices and POS (PCI-4 Compliant)
- Just-above-the-silicon solutions
- Control systems
- In-depth understanding of numerous bus and protocol standards
A specialized team is dedicated to the development, implementation and testing/validation of complete enterprise storage solutions, for various controllers and various storage media. A complete stack development experience, including security modules and specific test capability are available for customers to leverage.
The average tenure of the team members is over 25 years, with extensive exposure and contribution to enterprise and consumer HDD/SSD Developments, spanning all markets/spec Points, including:
- Enterprise SAS
- Enterprise PCIe/NVMe
- Client SATA
- Client NVMe
- Direct Attach NVMe/PCIe
- Other Embedded Solutions
The experience of Encore Semi’s team includes contribution to many firmware implementations for storage solutions:
- Architecture level contributions tied to hardware (silicon and system)
- Leading Industry ATA Expertise (ATA Specs, ATADEMO, AHCDEMO, NVMETEST, etc.)
- HDD Indirection Systems (SMR)
- Common Code Base Strategies and Implementations
- TCG/FIPS Security Implementations
- Multiple FTL Developments – garbage collection, wear leveling, EPO
- Advanced performance, caching and data path management
- Open Channel SSD/Light NVM
- Exposure to a variety of SSD Controllers (Microsemi (PMCS), Marvell, IDT, SandForce, Silicon Motion, STEC, Phison, CNEX Labs)
- SLC, MLC, TLC NAND from all major NAND vendors + some next gen memories
The team can support full SDLC management, familiar with many of the latest project management tools and techniques, with many years’ experience in Agile Development methods.
Wireless Mobile Platform Validation requires a specific set of expertise, including
- Compliance & Conformance testing (Integration tests; GCF/PTCRB, Carrier acceptance/certification for RF, Protocol or Applications)
- Performance/Stability testing (Data rate; power; OS-specific performance, corners, etc.)
- Connectivity integration and test (BT, GPS, Wifi, NFC, concurrency and co-existence)
In these areas, Encore Semi can provide value and support customer projects.
Compliance & Conformance testing:
- GCF/PTCRB test & certification- Modem PHY & protocol layer
- Carrier requirement test/certification – RF, Protocol, Application
- (VZW, AT&T, Sprint, TMO-USA, Vodafone, NTT Docomo, etc.)
- Transceiver technology-specific validation
- RF KPI and performance verification – In-device coexistence
- Data Rate/Throughput, CPU/Power, KPI sensitivity – Modem only. Modem + APPS
- Comparative analysis with other vendors platforms
- SW/system performance extraction and benchmarking; OS-specific characterization
- Stability under different adversarial and corner cases
Connectivity integration and test
- Bluetooth/GPS/Wi-Fi/NFC validation & integration with Modem
- Concurrency and in-device coexistence