By Bipul Talukdar, SmartDV
It wasn’t all that long ago when becoming a third-party silicon intellectual property (IP) provider was all the rage in the electronic system design (ESD) community. Engineers with a laptop could sit in their home office or garage, design a functional block of IP, and voila, they were in the IP business.
Times change, and the instant IP provider business has matured to include large global companies, sole proprietors, and everything in between. Third-party silicon IP is plentiful, configurable, and commoditized to support system, processor and peripherals, interface protocols, memory, and analog applications. IP can be packaged in different ways, including soft IP (software), hard IP (physical layout), and even as “chiplets,” individual silicon die that deliver the IP function. The revenue, according to the most recent ESD Alliance Market Statistics Service (MSS) news release, totaled $900.6 million in Q4 2019, a 4% increase compared to Q4 2018. The four-quarter moving average increased 10.1%. This is especially significant given that its early “two engineers in a garage” image has grown to be a worldwide multi-billion-dollar business
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