Aragio Solutions: Ensuring ESD Protection-a Key to Developing I/O Cells and I/O Libraries

Glen Haas, Chief technologist and Co-founder, Aragio SolutionsGlen Haas, Chief technologist and Co-founder
Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designersrequire chip level electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection that optimizes ESD protection to core circuitry and all Input/ Output (I/O) cells minimizing the total capacitance. If an ASIC design fails qualification testing due to either ESD or LU issues, companies are forced into expensive re-spins that cost millions of dollars. With EOS-ESD causing more than one-third of the field failures in the semiconductor industry, the team of engineers at Aragio Solutions has recognized that ESD and LU performance are crucial aspects in developing input/output (I/O) cells.

Aragio’s general-purpose I/O and high-performance interface cells are targeted to meet the critical performance, power, area, and reliability (ESD and latch-up tolerance) requirements of various IC designs. These general-purpose I/O circuits include a complete set of power pads, corner pad cells, breakers, and spacers and are implemented with special design considerations for power supply sequencing requirements. Aragio’s products—its intellectual property (IP)— support all CMOS technologies from 180nm to 5nm at multiple wafer fab foundries and utilize most metal and pseudo-metal layers supported by each foundry. Aragio also focuses on a padring solution for the ASIC designs.

“We focus on delivering I/O IP with robust ESD and high latch-up immunity, while enabling high-performance capability for many industry-standard interfaces,” says Glen Haas, Chief technologist and Co-founder of Aragio Solutions.
Unlike many competitors, Aragio Solutions owns all of its IP and licenses it to clients rather than selling its solutions. This allows the clients to program and customize the IP per their needs. Additionally, since Aragio retains the same naming conventions, methodologies, and cell sizes for each technology node, it’s easy for clients to use its I/Os to port designs to multiple foundries.

The Aragio team understands that for any client’s ASIC chip design, the ESD and LU tolerance for a single I/O cannot guarantee chip-level ESD qualification. Since clients need padring solutions or core-based cells to achieve optimal ESD protection, Aragio develops libraries that contain I/O cells and all the support cells necessary to create padrings with cell placement to avoid routing. Supporting over 1000 libraries and 700 clients, Aragio has developed its own internal web-based network where information is continually updated and maintained. This proprietary system, Library Support Database Interface (LSDI system), provides real-time information to all employees for all IP libraries, clients, tech files, bugs, revision control, data sheets, product briefs, and much more. Due to these unique interfaces and the customizability of its solutions, Aragio is uniquely positioned as the only I/O library supplier capable of providing ASIC designers with the high confidence needed to seamlessly transition between foundries at different process nodes.
  • We solely focus on delivering I/O IP with robust ESD and high latch-up immunity, enabling high-performance operations for many industry standard interfaces

The ease of transition proves valuable for companies during the acquisition of design centers worldwide. The acquiring company often focuses on their primary products while inadequately supporting additional peripheral design centers. Aragio assists these organizations with its silicon proven I/O libraries with good ESD and LU immunity, and uses the vast knowledge base of its veteran team to help them design cutting-edge devices.

For the last 15 years, Aragio has been an integral supplier to many of the top 25 semiconductor companies and hundreds of fabless semiconductor firms worldwide. Since its inception, Aragio’s driving goal has been to become the leading and most reliable I/O IP provider in the semiconductor industry. With nearly 100 percent test-chip first-pass success, Aragio has garnered a reputation for creating dedicated libraries that significantly minimizes the design risks of its clients. The organization also fosters excellent relationships with partners. It receives early silicon from key foundries, including GLOBALFOUNDRIES, UMC, and most importantly, TSMC, the market share foundry leader, which has helped fuel its recent growth and has generated a sizable amount of new business even without a direct sales force.
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Aragio Solutions

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Glen Haas, Chief technologist and Co-founder

Aragio Solutions is a leading independent provider of I/O system interface cells used for package interconnects.Aragio is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, which is maintained yearly.Aragio’s wide portfolio of general-purpose I/Os is targeted to meet the critical performance, power, area and reliability requirements for IC designs.