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Archive for September, 2016

The Tate Effect: Confidence in Flex Logix Team & Technology

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

 


Geoff Tate, founding CEO at Rambus, is busy – again.
 These days he’s leading the charge with a new FPGA-based enterprise that, per Tate, wants to be “the first to the party” – a party that’s all about providing FGPA-based IP to a market increasingly in need of these products.

When Tate and I spoke by phone recently, he offered the Flex Logix elevator pitch, and then focused on the company’s August press release.

“We are like the ARM of FPGA,” Tate said, and then laughed. “No, we are not expecting to be acquired by SoftBank anytime soon.”

“However, ARM was the first to successfully embed processors,” he said, “and at Flex Logic we are [doing that] with FPGAs.”

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IP Theft: Cheaters & Chuckles vs. Chalk & Cheese

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

 


Synopsys has a problem.
Per Norm Kelly, speaking at the ESD Alliance panel on September 14th in Silicon Valley, Synopsys loses fully a third of the revenue they’re owed each year for their vast catalog of IP because it’s stolen by Cheaters and used without paying any licensing or royalty fees.

Kelly said Synopsys earns about $200 million per year selling IP, and loses another $100 million to theft. Cheaters are a real problem, he lamented, and as Director of License Compliance for Synopsys he should know. Kelly did not have the floor to share these laments, however, until Warren Savage, GM of IP at Silvaco, opened the meeting.

Speaking from the podium as moderator of the evening’s discussion, Savage said the real problem is the bumblers, those designers and companies who lose track of licensing obligations for IP that was either purchased some time ago, or was brought into the design effort on a data stick fished out of the pocket of someone who’s joined the organization through a poorly managed M&A.

In other words, when Chuckles the Clown uses IP, often as not he doesn’t realize some monies are owed to the third-party IP vendor who created it in the first place. Savage offered this statistic: On an average SoC today, there are 150 to 200 blocks of IP, but only a small percentage of those blocks are actually paid for.

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ESD Alliance: New members bring opportunities, concerns

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

 


Over the last several weeks, the ESD Alliance has announced
two more members, news of particular interest because both companies are IP vendors. C-Sky Microsystems provides 32-bit embedded CPU cores, and Silvaco provides EDA tools for development of analog/mixed-signal devices, power IC and memory design.

True, Silvaco doesn’t sound like an IP vendor until you remember that it just acquired IPextreme, a well-known player in the IP market headed up by Warren Savage. And Savage, now GM of Silvaco’s IP Division, has recently been named chair of the ESD Alliance Semiconductor IP Working Group, tasked with developing a common methodology, best practices for fingerprinting, and solutions for tracking and auditing IP.

Meanwhile, C-Sky Microsystems brings its own unique value proposition to ESD Alliance. Described in the Press Release as “the first IP company from China to join the ESD Alliance,” C-Sky says it intends to actively participate in Savages’ SIP Working Group. This second bit is admirable, but the first could prove complicated.

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