As a designer of FPGA-based systems, you can choose from many sources of IP cores. Your first choice, however, is between building it yourself, getting it from your FPGA vendor, or getting it from a third-party IP provider.
In making this choice, you want to maximize the benefits you get from using an FPGA in the first place. This makes your prime criteria a small NRE and overall low cost for a relatively small volume of chips, plus the fastest possible time to market.
Building the IP yourself is probably the most appealing approach. This way you own and understand the source code and can directly handle any problems that come up. Unfortunately, it also means you need to write and understand the source code, and are solely responsible for any problems that come up! This may work well for simple functions you already know wellÑlike UARTs or I2C bus interfacesÑbut acquiring proven IP is widely regarded as the smartest move for anything more complex.
Given this, here are some issues to consider when choosing between IP from your FPGA vendor or from a third-party provider.
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