TOKYO Yamaha Corp. has licensed the MCore processor from Motorola Inc. and plans to use it in system-on-chip designs for embedded systems that will be sold worldwide.
The licensing agreement between the companies gives Yamaha rights to Motorola's MCore M210S synthesizable 32-bit RISC core, to integration modules, standard peripherals and to the so-called Intellectual Property Interface specification an interface for the design and verification of reusable cores.
Yamaha said it intends to use the MCore in chips for musical instruments, audio applications, game consoles and multimedia applications. Designed for low-power consumption, MCore is a 1.8-volt fixed-length 16-bit RISC architecture with an internal 32-bit data path.
Yamaha is the first company in Japan to license MCore. Since it became available for licensing in 1997, Motorola has picked up seven licensees for MCore, including Lucent, Atmel, Theseus and several research and university groups. Motorola has also started discussions with seven other firms about licensing the core, said William Edwards, senior vice president and director of the strategic planning group at Motorola.
Among those in discussions with Motorola is the VLSI Design and Education Center, a consortium of 170 undergraduate engineering programs in Japan. The center plans to use the MCore 210S as a training platform for system-on-chip design.
Motorola has recently been making a strong case for MCore in Japan, a hotbed of development for consumer electronics and cellular phones. Last June, Motorola announced plans to provide the MCore free-of-charge to any company using the core in applications to be sold exclusively in Japan.
With that offer, Motorola expected companies to develop MCore-based devices and test them in the Japanese market. "We found that companies would rather go right ahead into worldwide marketing," said a Motorola spokesm an.