The Crolles2 Alliance partners STMicroelectronics, Philips and Freescale Semiconductor have reached a preliminary agreement to cooperate on the creation and validation of high-level SoC intellectual property (IP) blocks.
The companies already work together as part of the Crolles2 Alliance in the research, development and industrialisation of CMOS process technologies and see a bundling of effort in generation, validation and support of high-level SoC IP blocks as a logical next step.
The three Alliance partners plan to set up the Library and IP Partnership (LIPP) with operations across a number of sites.
Potential sites include Grenoble, France; Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Austin, Texas and Bangalore and Noida in India, with headquarters in Eindhoven.
LIPP will provide and support high-value re-usable SoC IP blocks that the partners will use in their SoC designs at the 65nm CMOS node and beyond.
The three partner companies already share a common set of design rules and foundation library sets as part of the Crolles2 Alliance joint technology development activities. The preliminary understanding is to extend this alignment to include their SoC IP blocks and re-use methodology.
“The preliminary understanding represents a major step forward in overcoming the design gap one of the biggest challenges for the semiconductor industry,” said Bart De Loore, newly appointed general manager of the Alliance LIPP and former general manager of Philips Semiconductors IP ReUse Technology Group. “It is the first time in the industry that a group of major semiconductor companies has agreed to share proprietary SoC IP blocks. This move is designed to help the Alliance partners roll out complex right-first-time SoCs faster than ever before from their advanced CMOS process technologies.”
Staff for the new Alliance LIPP organisation will initially be drawn from the Alliance partners. Some of the first projects undertaken will be the development of re-usable IP blocks for advanced I/O interface standards, common analog IP blocks, embedded processors and SoC infrastructure IP for the Alliance’s 65-nm CMOS process.
In the context of SoC architectures and IP re-use, LIPP will also coordinate the participation of Alliance partners in industry standardisation initiatives such as Structure for Packaging, Integrating and Re-using IP within Tool-flows (SPIRIT), Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI), and Virtual Socket Interface Alliance (VSIA).