Intellectual property trade center eyes Japan takeoff
By Edited by Michael Santarini, with a contribution by Yoshiko Hara, EE Times
December 7, 2000 (12:54 p.m. EST)
A dozen electronics companies have teamed up to launch IPTC Corp., an intellectual-property consortium aimed at building the IP trading market in Japan. The group will provide services that are essential for IP distribution such as IP-quality evaluation, technical support and troubleshooting. Mitsubishi Corp., Nikkei Business Publications Inc. and Toshiba Corp. jointly proposed the trading group (see May 29, page 6) and set up the IPTC Planning Corp. to do a feasibility study.
In five months, the Japanese initiative gathered nine backers: Canon, Innotech, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Rohm, Spinnaker Systems, Thine Electronics, Zuken and Meitec, an engineering-staffing company. At the end of that time, the companies formed IPTC from the planning body.
In the transition to a consortium, IPTC increased its capital from an original stake of about $1.1 million to roughly $4 million. The trio of companies that originally proposed the IP outfit-Tosh iba, Nikkei BP and Mitsubishi-each hold shares of 18.6 percent; Canon has a 9.03 percent share and the rest will share the equity with 4.65 percent to 2.33 percent stakes apiece. Shojiro Mori, former group manager of Toshiba's corporate development center, has been named president of IPTC.
Large semiconductor companies such as Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC are not involved in the new group, but "they are in favor of our attempt. The trading center will operate on a membership basis, and they will be the members," an IPTC spokesman said. IPTC expects 30 to 50 companies will join. The operation will begin experimental trading this month and will start to recruit new members next month. Some foreign companies such as ARM, Infineon and Xilinx are showing interest, according to the spokesman. Regular trading will begin next April.
Mentor Graphics Corp. has added more cores to its Inventra intellectual-property library supporting the high-performance SX-A FPGA family from Actel Corp. The lat est selection of preverified Inventra IP cores for the SX-A devices are the 8051Warp 8-bit microcontroller and supporting peripherals. Among the latter are the M82365SL PC Card interface controller; the MI2C I2C bus interface; the MPCMCIA 1-PCMCIA card interface; the T1E1-FRM T1/E1 framer; and the HDLC-Core single-channel high-level data link controller. Mentor earlier announced the availability of the M1284H and M16x50 for the Actel SX-A.
Mentor said it provides these cores as optimized netlists-targeted blocks of soft IP that the company has verified using its FormalPro verification tools. Optimized netlists simplify IP integration in advanced system designs, the company said, accelerating time-to-market for applications in the high-growth telecommunications infrastructure, networking and e-appliances markets.
The company said that with Inventra's IP Evaluation Risk-Free program, designers can easily download ModelSim simulation models of the cores to verify suitability for their applicatio n prior to licensing.
By using optimized netlists with Actel FPGAs, designers can make key system changes late in the development cycle, avoiding costly and time-consuming silicon respins that have been the leading cause of missed market opportunities, according to Mentor and Actel.
Mentor Graphics said it is planning additional netlist availability in coming months.
Inventra IP cores for Actel's SX-A line of high-performance FPGAs can be licensed and downloaded now from the Mentor Graphics Web site at www.mentor.com/inventra/netlist_program.