Junko Yoshida, EE Times(07/16/2007 9:00 AM EDT) Lisbon, Portugal
— There are two good reasons you probably haven't heard about Chipidea Microelectronica. First, it's an IC company based in Portugal, where no large semiconductor manufacturer exists and the local IC market is virtually nil. Second, anyone who understands the complexity of analog technologies and the intellectual property business wisely regards "analog IP" as a risky proposition.
So when Chipidea claims it's actually generating real revenue--more than $25 million in 2006, with an annual compound growth rate of 50 percent--the experts are even more skeptical. They ask, with good reason, "How do you know the analog IP will actually work? How can it be assured that it integrates properly? How do you 'test' analog IP anyway?"
Despite such well-reasoned doubts, market statistics show an analog IP market on the rise. The analog and mixed-signal IP market grew 34 percent in 2006, accounting for 16 percent of the overall design IP market, according to Christian Heidarson, senior research analyst at Gartner. Chipidea, Gartner's figure shows, ranked ninth among all IP vendors in 2006.
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