Intellectual property (IP) was one of the hottest topics at last month's DesignCon—particularly IP quality and prices. Fortunately, the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA) has created a tool that lets users shop comparatively for hard IP and gauge the risks of each block under consideration.
The Hard IP Quality Risk Assessment Tool was created by a group of IP vendors, integrators, and foundries. This core group started with a standardized questionnaire for accumulating key information. Vendors then could enter their design methodology and other pertinent information for the IP under evaluation.
The usage mechanism is a customizable turbo-charged spreadsheet turned graphical user interface with different usage flows for IP vendors and integrators (see the figure). Vendors that aren't in the database can be asked to fill in the questionnaire.
The focused questions save time as the product families are entered based on the vendor's expertise of the IP. The output provides measurable and actionable value to the user/integrator in a chart format called a risk profile.
Since the tool is free to download from FSA's Web site, why not take it out for a spin?
Fabless Semiconductor Association