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IC Design

Frontend Design and Verification Services

Product lifecycles today need much more than engineering expertise than ever before. Increasing functionalities for every product has driven the complexity of the design to new heights. So today, a single line approach to the lifecycle roadmap is just not enough. What you need is a multi-pronged approach to reach the goals of creating an optimal solution, at the lowest possible cost, and fastest time-to-market - all with minimal flaws.

To master this complexity you need skilled domain experts at every stage, with the ability to break down every process into the minutest detail at multiple stages. Obviously this requires a high degree of skill in Architecture modelling, Architecture evaluation, Optimal Hardware-Software partitioning, RTL implementation and closure of functional verification. Of course, we have these skills.

Adding to this is the assurance of a smooth backend development process, at every step.

Our seamless team communication ensures better leveraging of knowledge from different functional groups for effective integration and much faster issues resolution. The high degree of accuracy in the processes that we offer will give you much shorter iteration cycle, much less turnaround time with a very high accuracy level, in terms of product quality. This ensures the biggest advantage you can have – much faster time to market. And as a bonus, a huge competitive edge!

How Graphene can help you?

Graphene offers services in the entire spectrum right from architecture definition, evaluating and sourcing 3rd party IP and delivering the final solution. Graphene's frontend design & verification services comprises of

  • Feasibility analysis
  • Architecture modelling
  • Hardware/Software partition
  • Performance analysis
  • 3rd IP evaluation for the defined architecture
  • Development of new IPs as per the specification
  • SoC integration
  • RTL modification for derivative designs
  • Pre-silicon prototyping
    • FPGA porting of High speed designs
    • FPGA porting of complex SoCs
  • Emulation
    • Targeting the designs to hardware accelerators like Palladium, Zebu etc.
  • Developing a detailed verification plan based on the understanding of the specifications and the architecture, and use-case scenarios.
  • Developing test cases based on the plan and execution and verification closure
    • Randomized stimulus using HVLs with functional coverage for IP verification and non processor based designs
    • C/C++ based test case for SoC
    • Functional and Code coverage closure
  • Gate level simulations with back annotated timing information.
  • Functional test pattern vector generation
  • Basic device bring-up
  • Functional validation using firmware for targeted features
  • Device Characterization
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The advantages we bring to you are:

  • End to end design service under one umbrella
  • Efficiency in team collaboration between the software and hardware development teams
  • Engineering experts in every domain.

Team Skills & Expertise

Domain Skills
Connectivity/ Buses PCIe, Rapid IO, GBE, USB1.0, USB2.0, USB3.0, Fast Ethernet, I2C, UART, SPI, AXI, AHB, APB, MIPI, CSI/DSI
CPU Cores Cortex A15, A9, A8, A7, A5 Cortex, R7-4, ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, T1 DSP, OMAP, Intel ATOM, X86, Power PC etc.
Verification Methodology UVM, OVM, VMM,- Tools: Cadence, Synopsys, Mentor
TEST IEEE P15000, IEEE, 1149.1, IEEE 1149.7

Graphene's frontend design team comes with significant execution expertise on latest technology nodes, complex design, advanced methodologies and various kinds of FPGAs. We assure extremely strong domain expertise across various aspects of product design:

  • Complex interface & bus connectivity protocol understanding like PCIe, USB3.0, HDMI, MIPI, AXI etc
  • CPU Core architecture understanding like ARM Cortex A15, TI OMAP, Intel ATOM, PowerPC etc
  • All industry standard tool flow & methodology understanding on Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, etc.
  • All industry standard tool flow & methodology understanding on Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, etc.

Graphene's Key Value Proposition

Graphene takes a system-level design approach to product development. Our hardware engineering capabilities support our customers in satisfying their critical product development needs.

Our approach to verification ensures:

Graphene's Verification Methodology provides following benefits:

  • Improves verification efficiency by providing good trade - off between coverage & number of testcases through direct and constraints driven random verification
  • Reduces manual effort through automation
  • Assertion based verification
  • Clock domain crossing logic validation without simulation
  • Verification environment re-use
  • Verification environment re-use

Backend Design Services

Every product has a heart, we keep yours safe.

With the rapid technology advancements, the possible applications that can be realized has expanded widely. This has added dimensions to chip design that require deeper understanding and implementation skills in order to help the customers realize those applications. Graphene’s objective of providing the best possible skills support for the design lifecycle starts from here.

We excel at understanding and delivering complex designs targeted at deep submicron technologies. The deep understanding of technology and good methodology that is imperative at all stages of the design cycle in order, is a mandate. That is how we deliver the perfect backend product development process at fast turnaround, "first pass silicon success", least iterations, high reliability and high yield, and finally, the fastest time to market.

We provide Backend Design Services with the expertise of our in-house methodology developed with the aid of industry standard toolsets and technologies. Of course, we set the base with our customer's methodology in areas of

  • RTL to GDSII (With Package Design & Tested Samples)
  • Netlist to GDSII (With Package Design & Tested Samples)
  • GDSII to Tested Engineering Samples
  • Technology Migration
  • Foundry Migration
  • Backend Flow & Methodology development

Graphene's backend design team comes with significant execution expertise on latest technology nodes, complex design & advanced methodologies. Our teams with their deep down expertise support your product lifecycle’s base stage with world class expertise, ensuring a much longer market stay with a much shorter production, design and fabrication cycle. We achieve this by crunching time and cost with help from our domain experts, at every step of the flow.


  • Expertise in deep submicron technologies with tapeout experience in 16FF
  • Expertise in all the prevalent and past tools including MAGMA so can provide support even in legacy flows
  • Ability to adapt quickly to new toolsets and flows without compromising on delivery
  • Expertise in scripting and flow development. Good understanding of nuances of flow development to an extent where we can contribute in customer’s flow and methodology development activity.
  • Good understanding of tools at algorithmic level giving us an edge in separating tool issues from design issues. This helps in achieving a fast turn-around time.
  • Very good understanding of technologies at device level for both Bulk CMOS and FINFET technologies
  • Good understanding of various high end interfaces (PCIe, DDR etc.)

We have a number of successful implementation of designs onto FPGAs, Gate Arrays, Standard Cell, and transistor level full custom ASICs and complex SoCs. Standing by our clients, we have worked alongside with large foundries and have successfully transformed many designs from RTL to GDSII, performing all physical verification checks including timing, power, logic equivalency, layout versus schematic, on chip variation, cross talk, etc. The seamless integration that we ensure between physical design and design functions, results in a manageable, high performance, low risk and efficient physical implementation.

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Aided by the expertise of our in-house methodology developed with the aid of industry standard toolsets and technologies, Graphene provides complete support to our customer's methodology in areas of:

  • RTL to GDSII (With Package Design & Tested Samples)
  • Netlist to GDSII (With Package Design & Tested Samples)
  • GDSII to Tested Engineering Samples
  • Technology Migration
  • Foundry Migration
  • Backend Flow & Methodology development

Team Skills & Expertise

Graphene PD team comes with varied skills and expertise that covers entire chip implementation cycle.


  • P&R Design flow: Expertise on ICC, EDI, Olympus toolsets. When needed, team has also ramped up fast on Atoptech as well as supported legacy flows based on MAGMA
  • STA: PTSI, ETS, Goldtime and some of the customer specific tools
  • Power: VoltageStorm (now Voltus), Redhawk
  • Physical Verification: Calibre, Hercules and some of the customer specific tools
  • Scripting: Team comes with strength and attitude for automation. Strong in TCL (for ICC, EDI, MAGMA etc.), Perl, Make, SKILL and other utilities
  • Analog layout: Virtuoso XL, HSPICE, Spectre

Technology Node & Flow Expertise:

While the team comes with a tapeout experience on older nodes viz. 40nm, 65nm and above, most projects handled recently have been on 16nm, 14nm and 28nm. However, following is the spread of our technology expertise:

  • UPF/CPF based advanced low power flow
  • MMMC/AOCV/POCV based High performance Flow
  • Flat/Hierarhical, Abutted/Channel based module level design implementation flows
  • Flipchip/ Wirebond implementation

Target application:

The team has experience working on following application types:

  • Processors: ARM Cortex A/ R series
  • TV, DSP and Multimedia
  • Modems
  • Large telecom, memory SOCs consisting of prevailing standard protocols like DDR/ PCIe/ Sata/ USB/ CSI-DSI etc.
  • Testchips: Team has recently taped out testchips at 16nm with an aggressive schedule

Deep submicron technologies demand complex designs which cannot be created without good methodology at all stages of the design cycle. This efficiency is imperative for a quick turnaround and the advantage of “first time success” that leads to faster time to market, coupled with high reliability and yield.

Inevitably, first time success can only be ensured when perfect testing processes are in place. Graphene’s expertise in handling various testing processes and our deep experience in the design testing space, give us the advantage of flawless testing for each of the designs that our clients get.

Our DFT services include:

  • Scan insertion
  • BIST (MBIST and LBIST) insertion
  • JTAG insertion
  • Test Pattern generation and simulation
  • Coverage enhancement/ improvement

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Using standard tool sets that assimilate the client’s methodology we provide testing strengths by:

  • Experience in design flow using the standard toolset
  • Expertise in handling various DFT features like Scan, BIST, and JTAG etc.
  • Good integration with physical design flows to reduce iterations
  • A robust methodology based on available toolset
  • Thorough audits and reviews at different stages in the design flow ensuring quality deliverables
  • Processes that ensure proactive and close interaction with client

Our biggest advantage is that the designers spend quality time at the planning stage, making the methodology fool-proof as the operation progresses. The customer is kept aware of the fault coverage pre- and post- DFT feature insertion and his concurrence is sought before the designer can take the design through the actual DFT feature insertion process.

In our design methodology equal emphasis is placed on each step required in inserting DFT features in the design. Close assessment and tracking and precise documentation of every step ensures a smooth and appropriate insertion, with regular reviews scheduled at the following stages:

  • Kickoff
  • Test Plan
  • Post-DFT insertion

Our DFT capabilities include:

  • Internal Quality Checks on the design inputs and library inputs
  • Developing the necessary automation utilities/scripts based on actual inputs
  • Test Plan provides entire information about the Test Methodology depending upon client requirements.
  • DFT checks at Sub-chip level, Scan-Insertion at Sub-chip level, MBIST insertion at Sub-chip level, Formal equivalence check, Fault-Coverage analysis at Sub-chip level, ATPG and MBIST pattern verification at Sub-chip level, Top-Level (Boundary Scan) creation, Integration of all Sub-chips and DFT violation check.
  • Top-Level ATPG fault-coverage analysis and ATPG and MBIST pattern generation and Verification
  • Interacting with Physic Design team for DFT design closure
  • Performing gate level simulations with delays annotated
  • Final Tester format generation and Verification with post route netlist.

Benefits of Graphene’s Design Testing Methodology

With stringent processes tracking and assessments in place Graphene Semiconductor DFT services methodology, provides the following key benefits:

  • Improves design efficiency by providing data points at various stages of the flow
  • Reduces manual effort through automation at all levels
  • Automated closure of different design iterations based on design goals
  • Provides good insight about design trough statistics and design metrics generated along the flow
  • Provides an early warning about feasibility of design process. Factors like fault coverage, no. of ATPG vectors and vector volume etc. are monitored continuously

Languages and Tools

Graphene DFT services are offered around industry standard tools from Synopsys & Mentor Graphics etc. Automation is achieved through MAKE, TCL, PERL etc.

Analog and Mixed signal design encompass two vital portions of VLSI designs – Digital and Analog blocks.

Graphene has developed a unique design environment for high-quality analog and digital design in a structured way, resulting in a high reliability and high first-time-right success rate. Our in- house methodologies offer fast and accurate full chip-level mixed-signal simulation coverage with EDA simulators such as Spectre , Ultraism , AMS +Ultrasim and System Verilog etc.

At Graphene, the deep domain expertise of our Analog and Custom layout team has ensured an impressive list of extremely satisfied clients. Their expertise also extends to consulting on custom layout aspects of these and any other design requirement.

The team has experience on technology nodes ranging from 130nm all the way to 14nm having supported designs in different application domains.

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The strengths that our Analog and Mix signal design team brings you are:

  • Reduction in:
    • the bill-of-material costs of your product
    • test and assembly costs
    • The size and weight
    • power consumption
  • Protection of customer IP
  • Increased performance and reliability

Our capabilities lie in the following areas:

  • Mixed Signal / Analog Layout and Validation of Layout with post layout simulations
  • Mixed Signal Circuit Design
  • Characterization
  • Independent Signal Integrity Analysis

Graphene’s analog team offers building blocks across the following technology nodes:

  • Technology nodes - 14nm/ 16nm/ 28nm / 45nm
  • Building blocks: OPAMP, Band Gap, Crystal Oscillators, LDOs, GPIO and High Speed IOs - DDR2, HSTL, PECL, LVDS
  • Other complex blocks: SERDES, CML Drivers, ADC, RF Transceiver, PLL, OPAMP, Band gap, LDO, DC-DC converters
  • Independent Signal Integrity Analysis
  • Value add with CAD support by developing “point automation” tools
  • Develop independent IBIS models.

In addition, the Analog Layout team has proven skills on layout of:

  • Ultralow-power circuits: watchdog oscillators, references, energy harvesting, low-noise instrumentation
  • Ultralow-power circuits: watchdog oscillators, references, energy harvesting, low-noise instrumentation
  • Digital-to-analog converters (DAC): high-accuracy, fast-settling, current steering, delta-sigma
  • 500ppm high-precision, temperature-stable on-chip oscillators (no externals)
  • Phase-locked loops (PLL): low jitter, delta-sigma fractional-N synthesis
  • Bandgap references: low-voltage (LV) and high-voltage (HV)
  • Instrumentation: chopping, correlated double sampling, auto-zeroing amps, S&Hs
  • Low-noise switched capacitor circuits
  • I2C - I2S - SPI master/slave
  • Communication: CAN, OWI, LIN, SENT, PSI5
  • Flash, EEPROM and OTP controllers

Power management:

  • LDO regulators: low quiescent current / high current output
  • Protection circuits: current, voltage and temperature overprotection
  • Integrated switching-mode power supplies (highly-efficient DC-DC converters):
  • Buck, boost, buck/boost, fly-back topologies
  • Continuous and discontinuous
  • Voltage and current mode
  • Single phase or multiphase
  • High-frequency - small inductance
  • Asynchronous and synchronous
  • Pulse width modulation (PWM) – Pulse frequency modulation (PFM)
  • Integrated charge pumps and voltage doublers
  • Wireless charging and battery management: state-of-charge, state-of-health.

Software Design


Software engineering plays a key role in our objective of driving business excellence using technology. Graphene semiconductors offers end to end technology support for our clients, so with a deep domain understanding of the silicon heart, our expertise extends to the software engineering focused towards complete product development for final deployment and post market deployment support.

Our excellent engineering skills with deep experience in software gives us the expertise to take up development for various layers of firmware - from device drivers, framework development, multimedia, to protocols and application layer development. Our product development experience extends the services to automation, tools and flow development to enable enhanced productivity and development experience. This expertise carries your product across Embedded Software, Application Software and Software Testing processes as well.

The verticals we specialize in are:

  • Communication & Consumer Electronics
  • Storage Solutions
  • Automotive Solutions
  • Industrial Automation

Embedded Software

Rapid innovations in the embedded software technologies are today making the market extremely competitive and quality conscious. As the communication and consumer electronics sectors get increasingly more competitive, it’s literally a consumers’ market. Enterprises that operate in the storage and automotive market too have a tough task ahead- to deploy technologies and devices that will push them ahead of competition – in terms of time, cost and most of all, speed to market. In this scenario, your biggest strength may be the ability to think disruptively and act on it!

Graphene is focused on key industry segments that today need innovation to drive growth and assure stability. Riding on our strengths in niche software services, we are in a commendable position to build differentiating products for our valuable customers. The advantages we offer? The best technology expertise, combined with lowest costs and expertise that will ensure minimum delays - ensuring rapid time to market.

Graphene's Embedded Software offerings comprise of:

  • Enhancements & Porting OS to different hardware platforms
  • Media Frameworks & Open GL integration
  • Customer functionality development
  • System integration and release management
  • System driven individual component testing
  • System – Functional, Performance & Reliability testing
  • Field testing & Interoperability testing
  • OEM / ODM certification testing
  • Bootloader development
  • OAL / HAL porting & validation
  • Migration across BSP versions
  • Migration across processors & platforms
  • Hardware bring-up
  • Soft boot up
  • Diagnostics test for board using Logic, Spectrum & Protocol Analyzer
  • Automated manufacturing test environment
  • Driver development & validation
  • Feature enhancements
  • Peripheral validation
  • Protocol implementation / enhancements
  • Kernel porting
  • File system porting & testing
  • Performance analysis & optimization
  • Benchmarking
  • Component development for connectivity technologies: BT 4.0, WiFi 802.11n / ac, GPS, USB 3.0
  • Protocol additions: BT profiles, USB OTG, USB device classes, A-GPS
  • Firmware & drivers for new generation ICs: BT, WLAN, GPS, combo chips
  • Application / UI development on Android, Windows & Linux OSes
  • Integration with OS & MMI frameworks: Android, Windows, Linux, VxWorks, Nucleus
  • Interface adaptation to Modem, GPS device, application & OS features
  • Interoperability & qualification testing: BT, WiFi
  • Benchmark quality of solution against market requirement and create customized test plan
Operating Systems:


Graphene has gained extensive experience on the below platforms by working with leading semiconductor vendors. This experience has been leveraged to build quality products to the OEMs / ODMs.

Deep understanding and experience of various peripherals / devices

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Bus: CAN, RS232/RS485, I2C, SPI, USB, Ehternet, Serial attached SCSI, Serial ATA, PCI-X, Infrared, Serial Modem, Console, SMBus, UART etc
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Application Software

The unprecedented technological advances in data centric devices coupled with high speed network technologies, is driving a rapid evolution in the mobility sector. Given the stiff competition, customers’ expectations are also evolving at the same pace.

The pressure to bring complex differentiated products in this fast paced market is immense. The only strategy that will keep you ahead of competition is one that assures a significantly reduced time to market, and unparalleled business agility to support rapid service innovation. Measure, Monitor and Monetize are the buzz words in the Core Network. They they need to be supported by an innovative approach that is real-time, highly flexible and cost effective when deployed alongside existing infrastructure investments.

We at Graphene provide support in this highly volatile business environment.

Flow and Tools for Development Process

At Graphene we understand the quality, time to market and predictability are key parameters that every engineering team is focused on, we are in constant endeavour to help improve these aspect by looking at better ways to execute the various stages of product development life cycle. As part of this we focus on flow development, process efficiency, and automation possibilities taking them implementation.

Key Activities:

  • Flow and Methodology development
  • Framework development and integration
  • Automation of test at both unit and system level

Software Testing

Today, devices manufacturers face a situation where on one hand rapid technology innovations are raising the bar for devices market, while on the other hand, time to deployment is absolutely critical. Costs continue to be the key to both these aspects. Maintaining this fine balance is a tightrope walk, but that is exactly what is needed for achieving business objectives.

Swift action in design and deployment of devices is the key to ensuring a great market response, and this is also the business goal of every OEM To achieve this goal without paying heavily for R&D or even due diligence is the final business objective.

Graphene offers you expertise that will assure that each step of the process has time sensitive planning behind it. Our capability to break down every process to its units ensures there are no errors that need to be revisited and resolved at a later stage, an activity almost always responsible for delays in time to market. Our assurance of quality testing at the end device level will ensure the fastest possible lifecycle deployment to the market – and this could be your biggest differentiator!.

Technologies are changing and transforming devices at an extremely rapid pace. Smart devices are becoming smarter every 6 months, and driving consumer expectations to need even smarter ones. The race to keep up with these expectations often costs OEMs dearly. This is where Graphene can help. Our various innovative models help you optimize time & costs to test the SmartPhone / tablet devices on the field, across the complete spectrum of devices.

Our technology teams are ahead of the curve with the latest wireless technologies wireless mobile devices, ability critical for testing a product to achieve zero incidence levels. This just adds more confidence for our client’s strategies - our significant experience of understanding & working on latest technologies, platforms & network equipments to ensure a perfect product reaches the market under their brand.

Key Activities

Types of tests:
  • Static,
  • Mobility,
  • Endurance,
  • Functional,
  • Performance / Benchmarking tests
  • Usability
  • Power consumption,
  • Signal
Log analysis
Creation of route maps
Creation of Test Environment and test cases
Report Submission
Automation of Test Cases

Field Testing Locations

Graphene can offer field testing services at all prominent country locations in the world including emerging markets.

System Design

Innovative software run by an efficient silicon design constitutes only two thirds of the product development process. For the end product to be cost effective, perfectly designed and executed, within the timelines- the end to end process should be seamless and extremely efficient. In keeping with our promise of end to end device production support, Graphene’s team of expert design engineers enables its customers to build optimized designs around various processor platforms, memory systems, bus interfaces, peripheral devices and analog/glue logic design along with efficient system software over wide range of RTOS platforms.

We offer significant expertise in end-end product development with an extensive understanding on the entire product design life cycle. Graphene has a well-established eco-system of alliance partners for Contract manufacturing, Mechanical and industrial design, Lab Testing & certification etc. which helps our customer in building product with faster time to market and reduced cost.

Our deep experience in incorporating design considerations like Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and Design for Testability (DFT) is a solid support for our clients in providing designs which help to improve efficiency and circumvent constraints in manufacturing, while adding teeth to the quality of their product.

Graphene's System Design offering comprises of:

  • Product Definition Stage (PRD) Services /High Level Design Services
  • Product Development Services
  • New Product Introduction (NPI) Services
  • Manufacturing , Testing & Certification Services
  • Sustenance/Value Engineering Services
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Graphene’s System Design Services Includes

  • Start with PRD
  • Perform feasibility analysis
  • Develop architecture based on HA
  • High Level Design for performance and cost
  • Selection of platform
  • H/W, S/W tradeoffs
  • Board Design
  • FW Design
  • FPGA design
  • Mechanical design
  • Board bring up
  • System Integration
  • Verification and Test
  • Supply chain engineering/management
  • Boundary Scan / ICT
  • Manufacturing Diagnostics
  • Pilots and pre-production
  • Product Certification
  • Manage CM relationships
  • Yield analysis
  • Bone pile reduction
  • Test Solutions
  • Field issue analysis and resolution
  • Functional & Field testing
  • Product certification
  • Defect Tracking
  • Component Obsolescence
  • Feature Addition
  • Cost Reduction
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Product Life Cycle Enhancement
  • Component Qualification
  • L1/L2 Support