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The business of IP: it ain't a bake sale

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Michel Tabusse (Satin IP)
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re: The business of IP: it ain't a bake sale
Michel Tabusse (Satin IP)   8/7/2009 4:06:56 PM
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With the quality of an SoC being at best on par with the worst of its constitutive IP blocks, IP quality is undoubtedly an issue for the viability and scalability of chips, NOT a solution invented by marketing. There are various ways to look at IP, depending on what your real business is: 1. IP vendors live from delivering small sets of standard functions and protocols in the form of shrink-wrapped or highly configurable cores. Actually both models exist. Thanks Peggy for establishing this ! 2. Chip companies have a different perspective. Having primarily chips to deliver, they focus on accelerating their time-to-tapeout. And with IP blocks being designed at the same time as they are assembled on the chip, their challenge is to make SoC and IP teams work more closely. No such thing as releasing a block on the market and keeping fingers crossed that it integrates well. Instead, it?s all about daily collaboration between IP designers and integrators. That is where formalizing quality metrics and measuring their progress against mutually agreed quality criteria comes into place.

Jonah Probell
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re: The business of IP: it ain't a bake sale
Jonah Probell   7/31/2009 6:55:23 PM
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Peggy, This article might have more fully represented the IP business if it included input from somebody at ARM, Synopsys DesignWare, or a pure IP development startup company like my YAP IP. You are an EDA person. DAC is an EDA conference. You only interviewed and publicized 3 DAC exhibitors. I wonder if they are in one way or another your customers. CebaTech appears to be primarily a services company that happens to reuse work from one project for the next and market it as an IP product. They are not a representative example of an IP company or the IP business model. CAST is an IP dealer/distributor/rep/reseller. They do not actually develop IP themselves. Satin IP is an EDA vendor with a tool to measure the IP quality problem, a problem concocted by marketeers to sell tools, analysis/research reports, and "advice" promoting the IP vendors who pay in to the racket. Even if one buys in to the need for Satin IP's tool, I don't see that it relates to your thesis about IP requiring customization. It almost looks like you called up Michael Tabusse and asked him for a 3-4 paragraph product pitch so that you can fill out a 1200 word minimum article length so that United Business Media can fit a certain number of banner ads on each "news" piece that they publish. One trend that I have identified in my 10+ years participating in IP development is that business success of an IP product is inversely related to how much customization the IP vendor allows. Semiconductor IP is most successfully sold with the level of customization that Henry Ford supported in the model T when he famously said, "You can have any color you want as long as it's black." ~Jonah

DaveKelf
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re: The business of IP: it ain't a bake sale
DaveKelf   7/30/2009 11:14:07 PM
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Excellent article Peggy! As you may be aware Phil Moorby and I have been working in a new start up, Sigmatix. Like CebaTech, Sigmatix started life with a tool oriented business plan, but benefited from a shift to an IP model. I agree wholeheartedly with your and Ramana?s comments. I would like to add that as soon as the notion of services are added then the company looks a lot less scalable than a pure IP product supplier, with the inevitable backlash from potential investors, etc. Of course this puts off executives from admitting to a significant service content in their business model. Here?s another thought? what if a tool is embedded in the IP, such that the integration, analysis, or whatever else is required for successful IP deployment, is made a lot easier? Could this be the real future of ESL? Either way, effective and efficient IP integration is a primary concern, requiring application services, whether we like it or not.

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