May 31, 2019

True Circuits Demonstrates Silicon Proven DDR 4/3 PHY
at the Design Automation Conference
Verified at 3200Mbps in TSMC 28nm HPC+

June 3-5, 2019, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth #553

True Circuits, Inc. (TCI), a leading provider of analog and mixed-signal intellectual property (IP) for the semiconductor, systems and electronics industries.

At the Design Automation Conference (DAC), True Circuits will showcase its high performance, silicon proven DDR 4/3 PHY hard macro with state-of-the-art tuning and training, and remarkable physical flexibility to adapt to each customer's die floorplan and package. The DDR 4/3 PHY has been developed using the powerful custom design automation tools that have made TCI's line of high performance PLLs and DLLs a staple in the semiconductor industry for over 21 years. The availability of this silicon proven PHY means customers can now license a PHY with significant performance and features without all the implementation and timing closure hassles that are common with current DDR offerings.

The DDR 4/3 PHY has the following key characteristics and benefits to customers:
* High performance
* Low system cost
* Simple to integrate
* Easy timing closure
* Automatic training
* Simple to bring up

The DDR 4/3 PHY has been undergoing extensive silicon testing in our lab and the results, while early, are quite impressive. On our DDR4 test boards with Micron memories and TSMC 28nm HPC+ test chips, the PHY is running at 3200Mbps without bit errors. On our DDR3L test boards, the PHY is running at 1866Mbps without bit errors. Silicon testing is ongoing and leverages TCI's highly automated and well proven test infrastructure and test methodologies. Testing includes functional write/read tests across PVT on five silicon corners, silicon based verification of PHY training, evaluation of training results from delay timing and Vref margin tests, and automated scope-based verification of system signal integrity. Testing will conclude with compliance tests and final silicon reports.

TCI went to great lengths to implement the DDR 4/3 PHY test chip just as our customers would implement a product chip. We used industry standard tools to synthesize, place and route the test chip, incorporated a Northwest Logic controller and Aragio Solutions DDR and General Purpose IOs, utilized custom high quality test boards and sockets, and used Micron memories. Taking this approach allowed us to experience and evaluate every aspect of the implementation of the PHY so we can better support our customers.

"TCI set out to develop a DDR PHY that addresses many of the shortcomings and inconveniencies of existing DDR offerings in the market. After years of dedication and exemplary engineering, our team has verified the TCI DDR 4/3 PHY operates at 3200Mbps in DDR4 mode on 28nm silicon, and equally impressive, the PHY worked right out of the box", remarked John Maneatis, True Circuits' President. "We are now in a confident position to continue with our 16nm and 7nm PHY porting efforts and fully engage with customers who seek a real alternative to the market status quo."

During the show, we will be giving short presentations and demos of the PHY in action. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions and learn what makes the TCI DDR 4/3 PHY hard macro one special piece of IP.

We will also feature our complete line of standardized and silicon-proven general purpose, clock generator, deskew, spread spectrum, Ultra and IoT PLLs, and multi-slave and multi-phase DLLs that spans nearly all performance points, features and foundry processes typically requested by ASIC, FPGA and SoC designers. These high quality, low-jitter PLL and DLL hard macros are suited to a wide variety of interface standards and chip applications. They are pin-programmable, highly process tolerant, reusable and available for delivery in TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and UMC processes from 180nm to 6nm. We recently added support for the GLOBALFOUNDRIES 12nm LP process, so we have all your timing needs covered.

As always, we are glad to discuss your IP needs, including IP selection, IP integration, IP reuse, jitter specifications and silicon testing, so please stop by our booth #553 and spend some time with the timing experts!

You may also want to check out a recent article by John Maneatis, Ph.D., True Circuits' President, who offers an insightful response to an article posted on which touted the merits of digital PLLs and the demise of analog PLLs. John is widely regarded as a pioneer in the development of PLLs and related timing circuits, and over the last 25 years, he and our engineering teams have developed a lot of innovative PLL technology. With each process technology generation, the preferred mix of analog and digital circuitry has changed and they have addressed the challenges with a variety of architectures. In this article, John outlines the advantages and disadvantages of synthesizable-digital PLLs/DLLs and makes a strong case for hardened mixed-signal designs as created by the well proven TCI approach that maximizes design efficiency, porting and reuse of analog/mixed-signal PLLs and produces high-performance, pin programmable designs that meet a wide range of operating requirements without the need for customer tweaking and the resulting headaches.

When and Where
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

True Circuits Booth #553
Monday - Wednesday, June 3-5, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Presentations and live demonstrations will be given throughout each day of the conference.

For more information about True Circuits' PLLs, DLLs and DDR PHYs, please visit

For more information about the Design Automation Conference, please visit

About True Circuits DDR PHYs
The DDR 4/3 PHY is a high-performance, scalable system using a radically new architecture that continuously and automatically adjusts each pin individually, correcting skew within byte lanes. This state-of-the-art tuning acts independently on each pin, data phase and chip select value. Read gate and data eye timing are also continuously adjusted. Automatic training is included for multi-cycle write leveling and read gate timing, read/write data eye timing, and PHY Vref and DRAM Vref settings.

The PHY employs a localized and optimized PHY-to-memory controller interface to ease timing closure. The circuitry in each pin is able to measure the data eye and jitter, and calculate flight delays. The PHY also includes a full speed read/write BIST, which tests the complete read and write paths of every pin simultaneously with pseudo-random data.

Remarkable physical flexibility allows the PHY to adapt to each customer's die floorplan and package constraints, yet is delivered and verified as a single unit for easy timing closure with no assembly required. The PHY is DFI 4.0 compliant, and when combined with a suitable DDR memory controller, a complete and fully-automatic DDR system is realized.

The True Circuits DDR 4/3 PHY hard macro is immediately available for customer delivery in TSMC's 28nm HPC/HPC+ process. The PHY will be available in additional TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES processes in the very near future. Interested customers can obtain more product information on the web at or by contacting True Circuits at

About True Circuits IoT PLLs
The IoT PLL is designed for very low power, sipping only 45uW at 30MHz and running from core power. It has a wide frequency range with multiplication factors up to 8192, allowing the PLL to run off of a small and inexpensive 32KHz crystal and still clock a 32-bit CPU at up to 250MHz. It is ideal for IoT applications like wearables and sensor devices, where the power-performance profile must be managed tightly, and possibly over a very wide frequency range.

About True Circuits Ultra PLLs
The Ultra PLL employs a new state-of-the-art architecture and uses high-speed digital and analog circuits to achieve exceptional performance, with many useful features. It has ultra-low jitter (<500fs) for the most demanding SerDes and ADC input clocks. It has ultra-wide frequency range with multiplication factors from 3 to over 250,000, supporting reference clocks as low as 32KHz. It also has precise frequency control with at least 26 fractional bits (at least 10 precise) for extremely high fractional-N resolution. It can even generate precise and adjustable frequency spreading with programmable rate and depth to meet tight FCC requirements. The Ultra PLL packs all these features into a compact size that draws low power and, with full pin programmability, one PLL can be used for all applications on a SoC.

About True Circuits PLLs and DLLs
In addition to the IoT and Ultra PLLs, True Circuits offers a complete family of standardized and silicon-proven general purpose, clock generator, deskew, and spread spectrum PLLs and DDR DLLs that spans nearly all performance points and features typically requested by ASIC, FPGA and SoC designers. These high quality, low-jitter PLL and DLL hard macros are suited to a wide variety of interface standards and chip applications. They are pin-programmable, highly process tolerant and reusable. They are also easy to integrate and are fully supported, so customers can reduce both design and silicon risks.

True Circuits PLLs support a wide range of frequencies, multiplication factors and functions over which they deliver optimal performance, avoiding the cost and complexity of licensing multiple point-solution PLLs from foundries or other vendors. TCI's DLLs are available in multi-slave and multi-phase versions and different sizes and form factors. They delay a set of signals by precise and adjustable fractions of a reference clock cycle independent of voltage and temperature and are ideal for high-speed DDR and ONFI interface applications. Customized PLL and DLL solutions are also available for specialized chip applications.

True Circuits PLLs and DLLs are available for immediate customer delivery in TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and UMC processes from 180nm to 6nm. For more information about True Circuits IP products, visit and

About True Circuits
True Circuits develops and markets a broad range of industry leading PLLs, DLLs and DDR PHY hard macros for ICs for the semiconductor, systems and electronics industries. TCI's robust state-of-the-art circuits, methodical and proven design strategy, and close association with the world's leading foundries, IDMs, and design services companies allow the company to quickly and reliably create new and innovative designs in a variety of advanced process technologies. Over the last 21 years, True Circuits has distinguished itself as the technology leader in the timing IP space, and its PLLs and DLLs are used extensively around the world in its customers' products with production volumes in the billions.

True Circuits is headquartered at 4300 El Camino Real, Suite 200, Los Altos, California 94022 and can be found on the web at Product inquiries can be made by calling the company directly at (650) 949-3400 or via e-mail at

Press Contact: Kimberly Toan, True Circuits, Inc., (650) 949-3400, Ext. 3404,

Acronyms and definitions
ASIC Application Specific IC
DLL Delay-Locked Loop
DDR Double Data Rate
FPGA Field Programmable Gate Array
IC Integrated Circuit
IoT Internet of Things
IP Intellectual Property
ONFI Open NAND Flash Interface
PLL Phase-Locked Loop
PHY Physical Interface
SoC System on a Chip

The IoT PLL is a trademark of True Circuits, Inc.
The Ultra PLL is a trademark of True Circuits, Inc.
The True Circuits logo is a trademark of True Circuits, Inc.
All other trademarks and tradenames are the property of their respective owners.

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