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    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    A Bigger Pie : Value Addition In the ASIC Ecosystem

    There were a couple of press releases this week in which companies attempted to add value to their primary products in an interesting way.

    #1 DFT + IP

    Virage Logic's bid for LogicVision might seem puzzling at first. Why would an IP company want to take over a DFT EDA vendor? My take is that Virage Logic intends to provide customers with the IP and the means to test them. The only problem bigger than IP integration is IP test! Poor documentation, absence of proper test-friendly structures and long verification cycles are commonplace when IP vendors provide just their IP and a test document of questionable quality. Using LogicVision's test and diagnosis technology, it's not hard to envision Virage's IP coming with fully integrated self-test structures that require just a little glue logic from the IP integrator for complete testability.

    #2 Open Source + ASIC Products

    How can an ASIC/System vendor increase the demand for its products? Realizing that the software built upon the hardware is the real driver for demand, XMOS is using open source to nurture an ecosystem around its hardware platform (programmable event-driven processor arrays). It doesn't hurt that it also allows XMOS to demonstrate the flexibility of its platform when it comes to applications. Xlinkers is a user-driven open-source community for software utilizing the XMOS platform. An open source community hosting a variety of (constantly maturing) applications is a huge vote of confidence for users considering XMOS products. Not only do customers get to appreciate the flexibility of the platform but they also get a head start by reusing the developed open-source components as building blocks for their own products.

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