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Freescale offers a peek into Chengdu design centre

Posted: 11 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale Chengdu centre  R&D  IC design 

Offering a rare peak inside an IC design and R&D centre in China, Freescale Semiconductor Inc. revealed plans to expand its efforts amid booming demand in the nation.

In its Chengdu design centre, Freescale is bolstering its efforts, as the site has become "the front lines" in the development and customisation in the networking-chip arena, said Joshua Leung, senior manager of software research and development in the networking and multimedia group in Asia-Pacific for Freescale.

What's more, demand for its products is greater than supply in China, Leung said during a briefing and tour of its facility in Chengdu. In recent years, China communications equipment companies like Huawei, ZTE and others have emerged. "A lot of design activity is happening in China," he said.

Freescale has five IC design centres in China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou and Tianjin. Each design centre has a certain task or expertise. These centres work in conjunction with Freescale's other worldwide IC design centres to complete a select project.

Three years ago, Freescale set up its design and R&D centre in Chengdu to capitalise on the local engineering talent in the region. It also serves as a sales and marketing base for Western China. Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan province. Chengdu boasts a population of over 1.10 crore (11 million) people.

Within its Chengdu site, Freescale has two labs: One supports its efforts in networking chips, while the other involves its RF lines. Freescale did not disclose how many people work at the site.

Within the labs, there are four separate teams: RF, DSP, PowerQicc and QorIQ. In networking chips, Freescale's Chengdu design unit is expanding and focusing on its previously-announced QorIQ line, a family of 45nm, multi-core embedded processors.

In the development of new versions of the chip, the Chengdu unit works in conjunction with other worldwide design centres at Freescale. But the Chengdu unit has also been given the charter to "customise" versions of the QorIQ line for customers, Leung said. "We are on the front lines for customer requirements," he said.

Last year, Freescale began sampling its QorIQ P4080 multi-core processor—the flagship member of Freescale's QorIQ product family. The QorIQ P4080 provides concurrent handling of control-plane, data-plane and application layer processing tasks. It is ideal for applications such as switches, enterprise and service provider routers, access and media gateways, base station controllers, radio network controllers, and general-purpose embedded computing systems in the networking, telecom, industrial, military and aerospace markets.


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