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IP star still rising

The IP industry is now buzzing, as was evident in a panel session at the recent IP07 event in Grenoble. By Louise Joselyn.

The semiconductor IP industry continues to grow, having overcome numerous early difficulties, such as hidden costs, quality issues, rapid commoditisation and unfamiliar business models. Profits were a long time coming and there were many casualties. Yet the sector is now a $2billion business, with an annual growth rate estimated at 11% until 2011 at least.
As SoCs displace asics, IP design has become prominent and design reuse has become established practice. The licensing of standards based blocks is routine, royalty revenues are building and consolidation has created economies of scale.
Yet there is still unrealised potential, according to many observers, linked closely to the challenges that need to be faced. These challenges relate to the ascendance of the consumer market and, in particular, the trend towards adding multimedia features to portable devices.
The compute power required for handling and processing moving and still images, combined with the need for energy efficiency, has set in place the technology trends for the next few years. Design reuse, heterogeneous multicore devices, programmable or reconfigurable architectures and optimisation through platform based design are the targets of the leading IP vendors today.

Author
Louise Joselyn

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