TOKYO & ELSTREE, England--May 15, 2006--ARC International (LSE:ARK) and Toshiba Corporation today jointly announced that the companies have entered into a strategic collaboration intended to grow the worldwide semiconductor industry's adoption of configurable technology. Under the terms of the agreement, Toshiba Corporation has taken a multiyear license for ARC's ARChitect(TM) processor configurator, which offers a comprehensive set of design tools and resources using a drag-and-drop graphical user interface (GUI). The companies will also collaborate on development of a next generation version of ARChitect that is more closely suited to Toshiba's Media embedded Processor (MeP), Toshiba's proprietary configurable processor, thereby opening up the benefits of configurability to a wider range of customers.
MeP, the core of Toshiba's media-centric processors, offers a 32-bit configurable, asymmetric multiprocessor design that can be customized to support diverse media applications, including products in the high-growth digital consumer market integrating video and audio functionality. Toshiba will leverage a version of the ARChitect processor configurator that has been customized to MeP, which will advance the development of Toshiba's next-generation system-on-chip (SoC) based on MeP.
Jim Feldhan, founder and president of Phoenix-based Semico Research Corporation, an independent semiconductor industry research organization, said, "The Toshiba-ARC strategic collaboration is the latest indicator of how configurable processor technology is quickly broadening its appeal throughout the semiconductor industry. We project that by 2010 annual shipments of SoCs incorporating a configurable core will reach 1 billion units. The work of companies such as Toshiba and ARC is one of the catalysts driving this trend, as is the ability of configurable cores to enable a very high degree of differentiation in the end device. This is critical to keeping down the overall development cost of consumer products, which is an important success factor in today's price-sensitive markets."
Yutaka Murao, senior fellow and general manager for Telecommunications and Custom LSI business at Toshiba's Semiconductor Company said, "We see strong potential needs for configurability among customers in multiple media-oriented application arenas, and believe that Toshiba should provide customers with the most versatile platform. Collaboration between the industry leaders in configurability will promote execution of this mission."
Carl Schlachte, president and CEO of ARC International, commented, "Collaboration with Toshiba in the field of configurable processors is a landmark event in ARC's history. We are honored to have such a trusted relationship and confident of the impact this will have on the consumer electronics industry. This strategic collaboration underscores the increasing adoption of configurable technology by world leaders. By working together, Toshiba and ARC can help our customers be successful in meeting their business goals by using semiconductor products that are better suited to the requirements of tomorrow's markets. ARC looks forward to working with Toshiba and growing this best-in-class relationship in the coming years."
About the ARChitect(TM) Processor Configurator
The ARChitect configurator provides a comprehensive set of tools and resources to easily customize an ARC core and integrate peripherals and other IP using a drag-and-drop GUI. The ARChitect configurator also provides guidelines for final silicon area and memory requirements. Included is the ability to configure features around the core such as type and size of caches, interrupts, DSP subsystem, timers and debug components, as well as features within the core such as type and size of core registers, address widths and instruction set options. Performance and die size tradeoffs are quickly accomplished, resulting in an optimized solution. Invariably the ARC core will be smaller and lower power than non-ARC, "fixed architecture" cores.
MeP is Toshiba's proprietary configurable processor that allows designers to customize processor configurations, including custom instructions and embedded memory capacity, in about 1 million different combinations. The processor features small chip size, low power consumption and high-speed processing. It is based on a 32-bit RISC processor, appropriate for digital media products that require processing of large volumes of image and audio data, such as digital TVs and DVD recorders.
About Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Corporation is a leader in the development and manufacture of electronic devices and components, information and communication systems, digital consumer products and power systems. The company's ability to integrate wide-ranging capabilities, from hardware to software and services, assure its position as an innovator in diverse fields and many businesses. In semiconductors, Toshiba continues to promote its leadership in the fast growing system LSI market and to build on its world-class position in NAND flash memories, analog devices and discrete devices. Visit Toshiba's website at www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm
About ARC International plc
ARC International is the world leader in low-power, high-performance 32-bit configurable CPU/DSP processor cores, subsystems, real-time operating systems and development tools for embedded system design. ARC's patented configurable CPU technology assists customers in the development of next generation digital media, consumer and communications devices, resulting in lower cost, higher performance SoC products.
ARC International maintains a worldwide presence with corporate offices in San Jose, California, USA and Elstree, UK. The company has research and development offices located in England and the United States. For more information please visit the ARC website at: www.ARC.com. ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE:ARK).