SAN MATEO, Calif. Xilinx Inc. continued its push to provide high-speed serial I/O links, announcing this week (Oct. 3) the acquisition of privately held RocketChips Inc. (Minneapolis), which designs transceivers for various protocols.
Xilinx already has said that it intends to make serial standards a priority, as systems designers are moving away from parallel buses such as PCI in favor of high-speed serial interfaces. Other programmable logic vendors such as QuickLogic Corp. are doing the same.
RocketChips is a silicon intellectual property house that designs transceivers combined transmitter-receiver devices for protocols including Sonet, Ethernet, IEEE 1394, Infiniband and Fibre Channel. The company licenses its technology to chip makers and foundries.
The company's parts are CMOS-based, which will allow them to be integrated with Xilinx FPGAs. High-speed communications parts often are built of materials such as gallium arsenide, which are incompatible with CMOS.
Xilinx officials plan to implement RocketChips' technology as hard cores within FPGAs. These cores may be programmable they will have "more flexibility than one might normally attribute to a hard core," said Dennis Segers, senior vice president of Xilinx's Advanced Products Group, during a conference call with press and analysts.
Products incorporating RocketChips transceivers into Xilinx FPGAs should appear in "mid to late" 2001, Segers said.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The merger agreement also prohibited Xilinx officials from naming any of RocketChips' customers, but officials in the conference call said no Xilinx competitor was licensing RocketChips technology.