Cadence moves into IP

Cadence Design Systems has moved into the market for semiconductor intellectual property (IP), claiming it will save chipmakers time by licensing in third-party cores and selling them in pre-integrated packages.

Vishal Kapoor, vice president of product management at Cadence, said: “We are talking about a different approach to IP. We provide an open set of sources. We are the hub that takes the source from IP providers and integrates the different components.”

Kapoor claimed the move comes as the chip-development industry moves from a focus on design creation to one based on integration. He said the company will start with protocol stacks such as USB, taking physical-layer and protocol-processing cores and putting them together. The USB blocks are expected to appear in the summer.

Contrasting Cadence’s approach with that of Synopsys, which has had an active role in developing a portfolio of IP cores, Kapoor claimed his company’s approach is more open. “They do it all themselves,” he said, claiming that this leads to greater potential for lock-in.

Cadence chief marketing officer John Bruggeman said the move into IP is part of a wider strategy to move to ‘top down’ design that will see a greater emphasis on applications and system design. Last week, the company agreed to work with Wind River on system prototyping.

Aart de Geus, CEO of Synopsys, said it takes time to build up an effective portfolio of IP and system development tools, pointing to a number of acquisitions that the company has made in recent years, including Synplicity, Hardi, Coware and Vast. “The vision that Cadence has presented is good so far but there is very little detail beyond that. For delivery of these things, you can come to us,” he said.

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