Intrinsity

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Intrinsity was a privately-held Austin, Texas based fabless semiconductor company; it was founded in 1997 as EVSX on the remnants of Exponential Technology and changed its name to Intrinsity in 2000. It has around 100 employees and supplies tools and services for highly efficient semiconductor logic design, enabling high performance microprocessors with fewer transistors and low power consumption. The acquisition of the firm by Apple Inc. was confirmed on April 27, 2010.

Products

Intrinsity's main selling point is its Fast14 technology, which is a set of design tools, implemented in custom EDA software, for using dynamic logic and novel signal encodings to permit greater processor speeds in a given process than naive static design can offer.

Concepts used in Fast14 are described in a white paper: they include the use of multi-phase clocks which mean that synchronisation is not required at every cycle boundary (that is, a pipelined design does not require latches at every clock cycle); 1-of-N encoding where a signal with N states is carried as a voltage on one of N wires with the other N-1 grounded, rather than being carried on log(N) wires which can be in arbitrary states; and a variety of sophisticated routing algorithms including ones which permute the order of the wires in a bundle...
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