Andes jumped into the U.S. market earlier this year after spending its first years focusing on Asia. The processor core licensing company competes with ARM and a set of much larger rivals such as Imagination with MIPS, Synopsys with ARC and Cadence with Tensilica.
Frankwell Lin, chief executive and co-founder, said Andes now has 53 customers and 65 licensing agreements. Thirty of them are in some stage of designing in Andes’ cores with less than ten in production. Nevertheless, some 200 million SoCs have shipped using Andes cores to date, Lin said.
Lin showed Lenovo and Acer handsets that use connectivity chips with Andes cores. A touchscreen controller from Taiwan startup Ilitek also uses an Andes core.
The N7 uses a prefetch buffer to act like a small instruction cache.
The company employs 110 people. Its core are being fabricated in at least six foundries including TSMC, Globalfoundries, UMC and three China foundries. The cores support a variety of RTOSes including Thread-X, Nucleus, Linux, Kontiki, Free RTOS, Itron and MicroC/OS II.
Separately, Andes will round out its product portfolio later this year with the launch of its N13, a gigahertz-class Linux processor core geared for intensive dataplane operations in networking systems.
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