Freescale IP Design Manager Jose Nunez presented a tutorial on Tuesday, June 4th, at the Design Automation Conference in Austin entitled “Challenges of Integrating External IP”. Through a show of hands, he found the majority of his audience were IP users and therefore knew his comments would be of more than passing interest.
Nunez first noted there are even challenges in reusing internally-generated IP – big companies often have multiple groups, each with different ways and methodologies for designing IP blocks. He said, however, his talk would focus on licensing third-party IP – standard IP such as PCI Express and USB, which would add no value to Freescale if developed internally, as well as other types of IP, which if developed internally might exceed a need-by date. In such cases, he said, licensing third-party IP almost always proves cheaper in the long run, but it has to be done with care!
Nunez cited common misconceptions: 1) When companies use widely-available third-party IP from known providers, it means those blocks come with fewer bugs. 2) If everybody’s using third-party IP, it can’t be that hard to integrate it into a project. 3) Third-party IP always delivers best-in-class features, maturity, power and speed. Having set the stage, he then listed some straightforward guidelines for interfacing with IP vendors, and using their products.