A New Era In Flexible, Affordable Design

New ways to license IP give development teams more choices.


Socionext has always prided itself on flexibility. The company was formed in 2015 as part of the merger of the LSI businesses of Fujitsu and Panasonic. So not only did the company successfully merge engineering teams, it’s grown and expanded its offerings of advanced systems-on-chips (SoCs) over the years.

As such, Socionext’s philosophy is rooted in doing more than just listening carefully to customer requirements and delivering high-quality SoCs and solutions that exceed their expectations in the consumer, automotive, and industrial sectors. Their engineers still consider themselves as working for a startup, albeit one with a history of innovation that stretches over decades.

Socionext has licensed Arm cores – Cortex A, R and M – for many years, using the traditional licensing methods. This approach has helped power designs in applications such as hard disk controllers, signal processing solutions, codecs and graphics controllers, digital TV, DSC and printer.

In 2019, when Arm announced Arm Flexible Access – which provides up-front, low-cost access to a wide range of Arm IP, support, tools, and training – Socionext managers were interested.

“Today, more companies, including providers of various services, as well as traditional equipment manufacturers, are turning to develop their own SoCs in order to differentiate their products and services,” said Mitsugu Naito, Corporate Senior Vice President of Socionext. “Arm Flexible Access will give our engineering team more IP choices and the ability to try new and innovative designs in a way that isn’t possible with traditional IP licensing models. This will help us move forward in the direction we want to serve world’s leading and emerging customers with various engagement models beyond traditional ASIC or ASSP.”

The company adopted Arm Flexible Access earlier this year, becoming one of the dozens of companies – signing up at an average of one a week – that have taken advantage of the unprecedented new program.

The interest and uptake has been so robust that Arm Flexible Access has expanded its offerings to give licensees even more to work with.

Here’s some of what’s now available as part of the program:

  • Mali-C52 ISP: This is a state-of-the-art image signal processing with class-leading high dynamic range image quality in real-time. Can be optimized for performance or area.
  • CoreLink PCK-600 Power Control Kit: Power Control Kit with a suite of system IP to ease system power and clock management infrastructure integration.
  • A range of CoreSight debug and trace tools.
  • A new selection of key safety packages for Cortex-R and Cortex-M devices: Safety Packages provide information used by chip developers when creating SoCs for functional safety applications and for easing the process of obtaining safety certification. They contain documentation specific for an individual processor.

Today we’re adding new products and key enablement features, but Flexible Access will evolve in response to industry needs and customer feedback because at the end of the day, our mission is to make design and innovation easy, flexible and fast.

You can download the complete Arm Flexible Access product sheet here.

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