Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. today announced a program to give its foundry customers free access to IP cores to reduce risk and time associated with IP sourcing.
Under an agreement with third-party IP providers, TSMC said it will let qualified customers use IP to develop chips without paying license fees until the design begins production.
"If it turns out it's not a successful design, they don't need to pay anything for the IP," said Genda Hu, vice president of corporate marketing at TSMC, Hsinchu, Taiwan, speaking today at TSMC's Technology Symposium in San Jose. "The program provides an expedient way for customers to ramp up products."
While the IP will be validated in TSMC's silicon manufacturing process, TSMC will not itself "sell" the cores, the company said. Once chip designs enter production, license agreements will be handled directly with the IP provider through a "simple license agreement" created specifically for the QuickStart program, Hu said.
QuickStart IP partners include Barcelona Design, Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, and internally developed TSMC IP, with more partners to come, according to Hu.
Initially available are CPUs, PCI-Express, USB On-the-Go controllers, a 3.125Gbit/s serializer/deserializer, Ethernet MACs, synthesizable PLLs, USB, LVDS, SSTL2, and HSTL I/Os.