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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 • 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 ?
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
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
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
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
The Difficulties in IP Re-Use • The Definition and Nature of IPs • The Re-Usability of IPs • The Non-Technical Issues
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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