Chip Express Offers Developers Low-Cost Opportunity to Verify Semiconductor IP in Quick Turnaround, ARM Core-Based Modular Gate Arrays
Santa Clara, CA and Cambridge, UK – Nov. 20, 2002 – Chip Express and ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)], the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC processor technology, today announced that Chip Express has licensed the ARM7TDMI-S™ processor core, enabling the company to provide an innovative new program for developers to prove their IP functions in an ARM7TDMI-S core-based system-on-chip (SoC). Through this agreement, Chip Express will be able to offer IP developers the opportunity to build prototype ASICs of their IP in a synthesizable ARM7TDMI® core-based sub-system.
With proven IP, customers can move directly into volume production using Chip Express' quick turnaround Modular Gate Array technology. In addition, as part of the licensing agreement, the ARM7TDMI-S processor core will be available to all volume customers using Chip Express' Modular Gate Arrays.
"Mask costs have increased so rapidly over the past 18 months that they have become a major obstacle for developers looking to prove that their newly designed IP will work in silicon," says Doug Bailey, vice president of marketing with Chip Express. "With this program, we are offering designers an opportunity to use our Modular Gate Arrays to build a limited number of prototype devices with the popular ARM7TDMI-S processor core and the AMBA® methodology at low cost. The IP developer benefits from affordable access to the ARM7TDMI-S processor and to our high-performance silicon. Chip Express benefits by having advanced IP verified and characterized on our modular array technology."
"This is an excellent opportunity for IP developers to prove their solutions work, using a highly popular, industry standard embedded processor without incurring the high engineering costs associated with standard cell designs," said John Rayfield, VP, US Marketing, ARM. "This innovative new program at Chip Express will help IP developers prove their at-speed compatibility with ARM processor technology at very low cost."
The new Chip Express program is an innovative alternative to the traditional option of implementing IP in programmable logic. FPGA devices typically do not run fast enough to operate many IP blocks or RISC processors at the speed required by their target applications. That, in turn, forces designers to modify their circuit architectures and in the process render their IP inefficient for an ASIC application. Moreover, designs implemented in FPGAs present significant security concerns, and the $1000 per-unit cost of large-gate-count FPGAs makes the Chip Express program less expensive than shipping FPGAs on evaluation boards for popular IP.
Under the new program, an IP developer will be allowed to build an ASIC using the Chip Express CX4551 gate array which features 550K ASIC gates and 448Kbits of memory. IP developers participating in the program will receive one wafer or approximately 140 chips. The program fee will cover netlist handoff, the ARM7TDMI-S core and AMBA technology, technical support and two packaging options. The cost of the program for IP providers is $50K.
Since the program is specifically designed to help IP developers build ASICs for demonstration and test purposes, devices manufactured under the program have some restrictions: participants in the program must use the chips they manufacture as prototypes, and the chips cannot be sold individually for profit.
Partnership of Leading-Edge Technologies
Chip Express' Modular Gate Array technology offers ASIC developers significant savings in development cost and time. The fast turnaround gate arrays reduce mask costs by a factor of 10:1 and wafer processing time by 70 percent over standard cell equivalents. The technology also offers higher performance, greater logic density and lower production costs than field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Chip Express has completed over 1,000 ASIC designs and shipped millions of devices to hundreds of customers including some of the world's largest OEMs.
The ARM7TDMI microprocessor family is a widely implemented 32-bit RISC architecture for low-cost embedded consumer applications. The processor delivers up to 120 MIPS of performance in 0.13um technology, in a very small die size and with minimal power consumption. The AMBA technology is an open standard, on-chip bus specification designed to facilitate "right-first-time" development of embedded processors with peripherals and other CPUs.
ARM is the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions. The company licenses its high-performance, low-cost, power-efficient RISC processors, peripherals, and system-on-chip (SoC) designs to leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive support required in developing a complete system. ARM's microprocessor cores are rapidly becoming a volume RISC standard in such markets as portable communications, hand-held computing, multimedia digital consumer and embedded solutions. More information on ARM is available at www.arm.com.
About Chip Express
Chip Express is a leading manufacturer of late-stage programmable gate array Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). The company's innovative, patented technology consolidates wafer manufacture tooling, reduces time-to-market and minimizes the cost of initial production. The company's Modular Gate Array technology is widely used in automotive telematics, computing peripherals, communications, high-end consumer electronics, industrial control, medical equipment and military/aerospace systems. Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, Chip Express is a privately held corporation, founded in the U.S. in 1989. A subsidiary, Chip Express (Israel) Ltd., performs Research & Development and manages European operations.
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current information available to Chip Express Corporation as of the date hereof. These statements are based on Management's current expectations and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. Factors which could cause future results to differ materially from the results discussed, implied, or forecasted in the forward-looking statements include delays in scheduled product availability dates (which could result from various occurrences including development or testing difficulties, software errors, shortages in appropriately skilled engineers and project management problems); the risks inherent in the commercialization of the Company's anticipated products and services; shifts in customer or market demand for the Company's anticipated products; the impact of competitive products and pricing; and possible disruptive effects of organizational changes, including retaining key personnel and coordinating operations. Chip Express Corp. assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
ARM, AMBA and ARM7TDMI are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. ARM7TDMI-S is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and Nasdaq: ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; and ARM China
2002 Chip Express Corp. All other products or service names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.