Systems & Design

Opposites Attract: IP Standardization vs. Customization

So, if it is so expensive and cumbersome, why do people rely so heavily on third-party IP?


Have you had a look lately at an autonomous driving SoC? Have you noticed, besides the cool machine learning stuff, the grocery list of third-party IP that goes into it? It is a long, long list, composed of pieces both big and small and quite diverse. For example, interface and peripheral PHYs and controllers, memories, on-chip interconnects, PVT monitors and PLLs. In some highly-publicized examples, the list includes eSilicon memories, by the way. For something developed under such secrecy and that aims to be so differentiating, it is counterintuitive that half of it shall actually be composed of other people’s mainstream IP. Third-party standard IP, by definition, is non-differentiating and so does not add any value, right? Yet, it pretty much drives the cost of an SoC these days:

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