CAMPBELL, Calif--In a move to strengthen its development of synthesized "soft" processor cores, Zilog Inc. here today announced the acquisition of privately-held Product Languages Corp. of Fort Worth, Tex.
Earlier this year, Zilog stuck a development and licensing pact with PLC to create a series of soft-core based digital signal processors targeted at communications (see June 4 story). Zilog is pursuing design cores as a more flexible approach to the processor business. PLC's software tools are expected to boost those efforts by enabling Zilog to co-generate development tools while new processor cores are created.
"PLC's soft core co-generation design technology dramatically enhances Zilog's capability to create next-generation processors and software tool packages for customers," said Curtis J. Crawford, chairman, president and CEO of the Campbell company. "The PLC acquisit ion is also a cornerstone of ZiLOG's strategy to develop a full line of product solutions that are based on soft cores." Terms of the acquisition were not released.
Zilog said it plans to establish a new design team in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to develop advanced soft cores for future products. The team will be lead by PLC founder David C. Fritz, who joins Zilog as vice president of R&D for core processors within the company's Communications Group.
"Using technology that automates the design-and-tools process also enables Zilog to compete in emerging markets, such as network processors, where product development cycles are being compressed from years to months as customers demand higher performance and speed-to-market," said Didier Le Lannic, senior vice president and general manager of Zilog's Communications Group. "PLC's experience and technology will play a key role in shaping Zilog's future products."
According to Zilog, PLC has developed a unique technology for completely customizable and configurable soft cores and tool sets that are generated simultaneously from a single description. The description is written in a proprietary language called THISL (which stands for Temporal Hierarchical Instruction Set Language). Zilog now owns this technology with its purchase of PLC.
By fully integrating PLC's technology into its design process, Zilog expects to develop new processor soft cores and software development tools in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of more conventional design methods.