GENEVA -- In a move to strengthen its system-on-chip campaign, STMicroelectronics today announced it will spend $17.1 million to acquire privately-held Portland Group Inc., a supplier of compilers and software development tools for parallel computing designs.
The move is aimed at giving the European chip maker additional development capabilities for embedding digital signal processor (DSP) cores in complex ICs. With PGI's development technology, STMicroelectronics plans to deliver new DSP-based system-on-chip solutions for a range of applications, including wireless terminals, broadband modems, magnetic and optical disk drives and emerging car multimedia solutions, said Aldo Romano, corporate vice president and general manager of the company's Telecommunications & Peripheral/Automotive Groups.
"Compiler expertise is becoming more important in these markets, so combining PGI's compiler and advanced architecture know-how together with ST's semiconductor technology will enable us to deliver the industry's most efficient DSP-powered system-on-chip platforms," Romano said.
Based in Portland, Ore, 10-year-old PGI has been working with STMicroelectronics for two years to develop compiler technology for the ST100 embedded DSP series of cores. The embedded DSP cores are part of STMicroelectronics' strategy to significantly increase its revenues from system-on-chip products, which will be built with reusable functions under a new design data base, called the "Bluebook" (see Dec. 15 story).
STMicroelectronics' ST100 DPS cores feature a superscalar and multiple MAC (multiply and accumulate) architecture, which has been developed for use in system-on-chip designs, according to the company. ST said the first core in the family, called ST120, has been delivered to system companies for prototyping. The company said design wins include a new SoC chip for decoding next-generation traffic information services from CUE Corp. and multiple systems applications at Alcatel Group for digital subscriber line (DSL) and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) communications.