ARM and Cadence Design Systems have signed a deal that provides the intellectual property (IP) teams at both companies with access to each other’s cores to make test chips, optimize interfaces between them and, in effect, create pre-integrated virtual platforms.
It follows the signing of other similar agreements between the two companies intended to improve access, but this time focusing on Cadence’s IP operation rather than its tools groups. Craig Cochrane, vice president of marketing, said: “When we did the other two agreements, the IP group said they could see opportunities also to work with ARM.”
The IP interoperability agreement gives both companies the ability to make test chips containing each other’s cores without having to seek specific permission for each one and to provide development platforms that combine them to customers. As new cores arrive on the market, “we will have already tested the IPs working together and had the opportunity to co-optimize them for performance”, Cochrane said.
“There will be benefits to customers beyond that. We will have reduced risk on behalf of the customer who wants to use Cadence IP with ARM’s. They should get to market faster because we have pipe-cleaned the path.
“Although it looks like just another agreement for exchanging IP, this is the first such agreement that we are aware of that encompasses such broad portfolios,” Cochrane added.
Kevin Yee, product marketing director for Cadence, said: “It’s not just about test chips but addressing some of the industry’s concerns over SoCs. We have seen designs move to dual, quad and then octo-core processors. There can be hundreds of IPs being integrated. ARM and Cadence are trying to address that challenge.
“By having access we can drive more innovation. This paves the way for greater collaboration between ARM and Cadence. We believe it’s good for the industry and good for our customers.”
Cochrane said the agreement provides early access to cores on both sides to allow optimization of the designs.
“It’s a multiyear agreement and includes future products,” Yee added.