IBM Microelectronics announced a broad program to license its PowerPC processor technology to chip firms for use in their SOC (system-on-a-chip) designs on Friday (February 14, 2002).
An IBM spokesman said PowerPC cores had previously been licensed to other firms on a limited ad hoc basis. "We are now launching a formal program to broadly license the PowerPC technology," he said.
The East Fishkill, New York, based company said all members of its PowerPC family, including its top-end PowerPC 440GX processor, are available for licensing. Included is IBM technology for its CoreConnect bus architecture and additional peripherals, such as memory controller and PCI bridge.
Synopsys Inc., Mountain View, Calif., and Cadence Design Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif., will join IBM as partners to provide design tools and services to licensees to include PowerPC cores in their SOCs.
IBM said the chipmaker hoped PowerPC license holders would use IBM as a foundry to produce their SOCs, but this was not required. "The open PowerPC licensing program will offer PowerPC cores targeted to IBM foundry and other leading foundries worldwide."