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IP Re-Use: The Key Challenge in SOC (System-on-Chip) Product Development. D Y Yang Chairman, Taiwan SoC Consortium Jan. 14, 2003. Topics. Progress in Semiconductor Technology Driving Forces for SOC SOC Design Methodology The Difficulties in IP Re-Use The Definition and Nature of IP

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Ip re use the key challenge in soc system on chip product development l.jpg

IP Re-Use:The Key Challenge in SOC (System-on-Chip) Product Development

D Y Yang

Chairman, Taiwan SoC Consortium

Jan. 14, 2003


Topics l.jpg
Topics

  • Progress in Semiconductor Technology

  • Driving Forces for SOC

  • SOC Design Methodology

  • The Difficulties in IP Re-Use

    • The Definition and Nature of IP

    • The Re-Usability of IP

    • The Non Technical Issues

  • IP as a Business

  • Some Industrial Effort for IP Re-Use

  • Is a Global IP Exchange a possibility ?


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The Progress in Semiconductor Industry

  • The Moore’ Law

  • The Gain in Circuit Density (Size), Performance (Speed) and Power Consumption at the same time

    • Difficulties in modeling the complicated Very Deep Submicron Device (VDSD)

      • Interconnection delay, leakage, etc.

    • Difficulties in handling the circuit complexity

    • Difficult in Testing

    • High Cost of Mask Tooling

       Design Gap: Technology productivity vs. design productivity


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The Driving Forces for SOC

  • SOC is: Complete System Products on a single chip or chip set

    • Incorporates one processor, or/and co-processor, on-chip bus, on-chip memories, interfaces to peripheral devices, or/and other interfaces to real world

  • Driven by The Semiconductor Technology

  • Driven by The Market Demands

    • Time to Market, Application Specific while keeping cost down

  • Helped by The emerging key IPs and on-chip buses

  • Helped by The new EDA tools


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The SOC Design Methodology

  • The productivity issue in SOC design

    • The Design Gap

  • The Known Good Practices ( to handle complexity) to increase design productivity

    • Hierarchical IP-Based (Divide and Conquer)

      • SOC, Module, Macro, IP Block, Sub-Block

    • Abstraction of Design (Models)

      • Specification, Behavior , RTL , Netlist, GDSII

    • Platform-Based

      • Application-Specific Platform


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The Need and the Trend for IP-Reuse

  • Cut down the design turn-around time and time-to-market by not designing from scratch.

  • Reduce redundancy in internal design effort.

  • Get the best IPs from outside suppliers


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The Difficulties in IP Re-Use

  • The Definition and Nature of IPs

  • The Re-Usability of IPs

  • The Non-Technical Issues


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The Definition and Nature of IP

  • The Definition of (Silicon) IP and Deliverables:

    • Intellectual Property; Virtual Component

    • Synthesizable RTL codes

    • Verification IP (also RTL codes)

    • Synthesis Scripts

    • Documentation and Support

  • The Nature of IP

    • It is a collection of digital data and files

    • It is digital information product and has no physical form.

    • It is a component of a system

    • It is not a finished products

    • Hard to protect; Hard to present; Hard to evaluate before buy.

       Need to disclose much information for Integrators( Users)

  • Protection and Evaluation are important and difficult issues


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The Re-Usability of IP

  • Design for Use:

    • Correct and Robust

  • Design for Re-Use ( by others) :

    • Easy to integrate into wide range of current and future SOC design by many other SOC integrators

  • Implementation IP and Verification IP

  • Documentation and Packaging

  • How Re-Usable is Re-Usable?

    • The abstraction level: Soft IP, Firm IP and Hard IP

    • AMS design is difficult to migrate quickly to new technology as digital IP

  • The SOC Integration for Time-to-Market or for Performance or for Cost


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The Non-Technical Issues in IP Re-Use

  • Legacy design

    • Harvest or Discard

  • New design-for-reuse infrastructure

    • Tools, Methodology and Management

  • Re-train and re-organize

    • IP team and Integration team

  • Incentive for engineers to overcome their reluctances to do extra work to design for re-use

  • IP repository and process of finding IP within the company

  • Business process to source and to manage third party IPs


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IP as a Business

  • Companies do need to source IPs from outside suppliers

  • IP business had high growth rate of 25% in 2001 and had a revenue 0f about $900 million dollars while the entire industry shrunk by 31%.

    • However, very few IP suppliers made money in 2001

    • The major revenue came from Licensing, Royalty and Service

  • The major categories for IP business are

    • CPU: ARM, MIPS

    • Bus Interface: RAMBUS, USB, etc

  • The major application domains are:

    • Communication

    • Consumer

    • Computer

  • IP Market by region:

    • America

    • Japan

    • Europe

    • Asian and Pacific


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IP as a Business?

  • The IP business is in high growth but still in immaturity

  • The cost of IP transaction is too high for both sides—not a “off-the-shelf” business yet

    • Locate a suitable IP

    • Evaluation the IP

    • Trading mechanism and legal contracting

    • Service and support

  • Many IP vendors move toward becoming “Solution” Providers or “ Platform” Providers


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Some Industrial Effort in IP re-use

  • VCX ( Virtual Component Exchange)

    • To standardize the trading mechanism and legal contracting

  • VSIA( Virtual Socket Interface Alliance)

    • Tool Interfaces; Design Re-Use and Documentation Practices

    • IP protection and many other specification and standards.

  • OpenMORE

    • Self Assessment on IP Re-Use based on RMM( Reuse Methodology Manual)

    • IP interface standard and documentation practices

  • STARC( Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Company) in Japan

    • IP standard and IP Scoring; IP coding style

  • ITRI( Industrial Technology Research Institute) in Taiwan

    • IP Catalog Sharing Standard and IP Rating standard

  • SOC Consortium in Taiwan

    • Promote IP Re-Use and SOC Design Technology


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IP Re-Use and SOC Effort in Taiwan

  • Private Companies:

    • Taiwan SOC Consortium

      • Promotion and Exchange of Information on IP Re-Use and SOC design methodologies

      • International Cooperation Cordination

  • Government:

    • STC( SOC Technology Center) /ITRI

      • SOC Design, IP Standards and IP cataloging

    • Si-Soft Program (Silicon Island Project, Government R/D Projects)

      • Design Methodology

      • SOC platforms and Vehicle

      • IP Mall

  • Universities:

    • SOC Technology Teaching and Research Programs


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Is a Global IP Exchange a Possibility?

  • An independent intermediary organization to facilitate the IP registration, IP transaction by providing necessary legal contracting, IP protection, trading matching, settlement and service for IP providers and SOC Integrators

  • Business Environment:

    • Oligopoly in Foundry and Photo Mask Services: easy to control the physical output of the Exchange

    • The emergence of independent design service providers and independent design platform providers: provide the necessary technical services

    • The available of global broad band infrastructure and Data Center: easy to access the trading information while provide the necessary protection

  • The Issues:

    • The participation of key players in the semiconductor supply chain

    • The cost and volume of transactions

    • The standard IP licensing model

    • Many other issues yet to be found out


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Summary

  • At this moment, IP-Reuse is key practice for making SOC product development possible

  • In reality, there are still many issues to be overcome to make IP-Reuse a common practice

    • Intra-company IP re-use

    • Inter-company IP trade

    • Global IP exchange

  • Active industry effort will help to accelerate the change and migration

  • A Global IP Exchange could be an interest idea for industry to think over



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