SAN MATEO, Calif. Hitachi Information Technology Co. Ltd. has licensed an on-chip interconnect technology from Sonics Inc. and plans to use it to stitch together different intellectual property blocks on a chip, the companies said.
The license will allow Hitachi-IT to use Sonics' Smart Interconnect technology when designing system-on-chip (SoC) devices for its customers, who in turn will need to negotiate a separate license with Sonics when the SoC is ready for production, said David Lautzenheiser, vice president of marketing at Sonics.
The Hitachi-IT agreement is the second licensing deal Sonics has inked with a Japanese-based company this year. In January, Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. included Sonics as part of its intellectual property partner program that would support its chip platform effort.
"We've gotten fairly significant interest from the Japanese market," Lautzenheiser said. "The issues there are more around local support and having a complete infrastructure to support customers in that environment."
Sonics worked through its Japanese representative, Innotech Corp., to negotiate the licensing deal with Hitachi-IT. Innotech, a trading company that specializes in electronics, is also the exclusive distributor in Japan for Cadence Design Systems Inc.
Sonics' Smart Interconnect is an on-chip communications network that links different intellectual property cores on a chip. Unlike a passive on-chip bus, the interconnect manages the communications among IP cores so that they do not have to be modified for this task. The company also provides EDA tools that let designers model and evaluate SoCs.
Other chip companies that have adopted Sonics' on-chip interconnect technology include Broadcom, Intel and Texas Instruments.