IP Developers Association Formed
RAPID Association Unites IP Suppliers

SAN JOSE, Calif. June 17 1996. A group of companies who develop and sell intellectual property (IP) have joined to form the industry’s first association. Called RAPID (Reusable Application Specific Intellectual Property Developers), the association will provide a much needed voice for this emerging industry.

The emergence of true System Level Integration (SLI) for ICs has created a need for system level building blocks that ASIC or ASSP designers can incorporate along with their own designs. Examples include microprocessors, bus interface controllers, DSPs and communications controllers. These predesigned components must be portable, reusable and easy for designers to integrate. Within these parameters, the term ‘IP Supplier’ has come to mean a company that provides such application-specific pre-designed components.

Importance of IP

Gary Smith, principal analyst for the industry research firm, Dataquest, noted, ‘Today’s standard design methodologies have the ability to produce ICs of a million gates within a year’s design cycle. Anything larger must use System Level Macros (SLMs). Even at the 150,000 gate level and up, SLMs have become a standard part of the design. The reason is that SLMs are the vehicle for delivering Intellectual Property into the silicon implementation. Now FPGA and CPLD vendors are seeing the importance of SLMs in the 20,000 and above gate count. The industry is just getting to the point at which the average design engineer has access to the SLM technology, which will be vital for tomorrow’s designs.

Association Goals

Initial members of RAPID include IP developers Virtual Chips, 3Soft, Object Oriented Hardware, Advancel Logic, Integrated Silicon Systems, iREADY, the Design Reuse group of Synopsys and the ICTC group of Mentor Graphics.

The goal of the RAPID association is to get more IP into the hands of design engineers by promoting the awareness of IP and by working with EDA and semiconductor vendors to drive resolution of common requirements. At a series of meetings at last week’s Design Automation Conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, it became clear that IP suppliers share a common set of concerns and that joining together would help to effectively address those concerns. Among these are the need for design tools and standards that better address development and use of IP, the need for protection of IP and the need for standard business practices and quality levels across the industry.

The first act of the RAPID association will be to host an open meeting on the evening of June 26 in San Jose. At the meeting additional members will be signed up, structure and bylaws will be discussed and initial issues will be prioritised.

Membership in RAPID is open to any organisation that develops and sells IP and participation is encouraged from semiconductor companies, EDA vendors and users of IP.