Website move to 'shake up IP industry'

IPextreme boss Warren Savage hopes to shake up the market for semiconductor intellectual property cores by opening up a web-store that will sell commodity designs at $10,000 a time

IPextreme has decided that the market for semiconductor intellectual property (IP) cores is mature enough for it to start selling the designs direct from a web-only store at a fixed price. It is an unusual move in a market where there is almost zero price transparency.

Warren Savage, president of IPextreme, said some of the IP cores will only be available from the website. "We are doing it with some of our commodity titles: they are things that are available from more than six or seven vendors, in the main. The price will be published on the Web for everyone to see. We think it will be a bit of a shake-up for the industry."

One of the first cores to be offered on the site is a version of Freescale Semiconductor's ColdFire. The basic licence for a ColdFire version 1 core is $10,000. "This is the kind of core that normally sells for $100,000," claimed Savage. However, the core will incur a per-unit royalty. "Some of the Amba peripherals in the portfolio will not be royalty bearing because that is not the market expectation," he added.

All of the cores will be encrypted and watermarked to protect against piracy. The contract on the CoreStore website is a slimmed-down version of the company's existing terms, Savage said.

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