SAN JOSE, Calif. — ARM is in negotiations to acquire Duolog Technologies, a Dublin provider of IP integration tools.
For the past year, the two companies have been co-developing debug and trace tools for ARM's CoreLink and CoreSight products planned for release this year. James McNiven, general manager of ARM's systems and software group, told us that the tools will provide a graphical interface to configure and automate the implementation of debug and trace functions in multicore and future massively multicore SoCs.
"Our CoreLink interconnects allow up to 48 cores working coherently in a single SoC today, and going forward that won't get simpler," said McNiven. "We realized, as things are getting more complex, we need to make it easy for partners to produce low-risk SoCs."
Today's eight-core ARM-based SoCs require configuring debug and trace across as many as a thousand connections and 500 registers. "Doing that manually would be error prone and take weeks to design and verify," he said. "This tooling will enable a faster outcome and make the design correct by construction."
The new tools will be priced similarly to ARM's existing Amba Designer tool set, McNiven said.
Ray Bulger, chief executive of Duolog, told us it has 30 users of its Socrates IP integration tools, including ARM, Texas Instruments, and seven of the top 10 chip companies. The company generated about $10 million of revenue in 2013, and it employs 78 people, mainly in development centers in Dublin and Budapest, he said.
The companies aim to close the deal in the third quarter. They did not disclose financial terms.
ARM has been using Duolog's Socates IP integration tools for two years and intends to expand their use after the deal closes.
Duolog was founded 1999 as a WiFi IP company. It found that market hard going, but it got traction for related IP integration tools it started developing in 2003. By 2006, half its revenue came from the emerging Socrates products, verification and validation tools that automate the insertion of IP blocks into SoCs.
Texas Instruments was an early user of Socrates, using it to build its Omap SoCs. In a late 2007 report, Bulger estimated Duolog would make $10 million that year -- 60% of it from licensing Socrates tools and most of the rest from related design services.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times