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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

New Year’s Resolution: Solve 10 Mysteries of IP

January 1st, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

The New Year is upon us and it’s time for resolutions. Here’s an interesting one: Find the answers to 10 simple questions related to the business and technology of IP. The questions may be simple, but the answers probably are not, if they are available at all.


* How many IP vendors are needed on average today to provide blocks for a typical chip?

* How does one learn how to buy and integrate IP into a design?

* What is a fair price for a block of IP?

* Conspiracy theorists loved to believe that creating a market for electric cars was thwarted by those companies whose fortunes revolved around fossil-driven vehicles. Are such conspiracy theorists similarly justified suggesting that commoditizing shrink-wrapped IP is being thwarted by companies whose revenues are wrapped up in selling services around their purposely obfuscated IP?

* Does every design services company eventually evolve into some kind of IP company?

* Is it possible to start a new IP company from scratch in an era in which companies like ARM, Synopsys, etc. have grown to such a ponderous size?

* If so, could such a company start in a garage?

* Will we ever have a way to quantify the quality of a block of IP?

* Will we ever reach a point where every bit of a chip will be created by picking a piece of IP out of a catalog?

* If not, why not?

* Will the concept of hardware self-assembly ever be applied to design ‘self-assembly’ such that all of the requisite parts of a design are created on an as-needed basis, hence putting all IP companies out of business?


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