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  • Coming Up Next: ARM IoT ASICs!

    The History of ASICs is well documented in our book “Fabless: The Transformation of the Semiconductor Industry” which illustrates the earliest forms of design start driven collaboration. The history of ARM is well documented in our book “Mobile Unleashed” which illustrates an entire company culture based on design start driven collaboration.

    That brings us to where we are today with hundreds if not thousands of system companies cobbling together IoT solutions using off-the-shelf chips. Amazon Echo, Nest Dropcam, and a Skybell are examples in my home.

    The next phase of this transformation is what we call the IoT ASIC. Yes, the Internet of Things is a very fragmented market but it is also ultra-competitive so you will not survive if you are cobbling together systems. Take Apple for example (Chapter #8 in Mobile Unleashed), they went from cobbler to ASIC to full blown fabless semiconductor powerhouse in order to control their competitive destiny.


    The Multi-billion dollar question here is: Who is going to deliver the next big IoT thing? The answer of course is just about anybody thanks to ARM and ASIC providers like Open-Silicon. In fact, just last month ARM selected Open-Silicon to join the ARM® Approved Design Partner program in conjunction with the ARM DesignStart™ portal:

    “The new ARM Approved Design Partner program enables a powerful and extensive network of global design houses,” said Chris Shore, training product manager, ARM. “Open-Silicon has a successful track record in custom SoC design and manufacturing services as well as ASIC projects, and it has made significant investments in its ARM-based product services roadmap. As a member of the program, Open-Silicon can now play a valuable role in helping to enable the easy and rapid development of new ARM-based devices.”

    This program builds on the ARM DesignStart™ portal, which offers SoC designers free access to ARM Cortex®-M0 processor IP for design, simulation and prototyping with the option to buy a simplified and standardized $40,000 fast track license. The design and ASIC houses selected to join the ARM Approved Design Partner program will provide expert support during development and manufacturing. They are experienced in developing custom SoCs using ARM processor IP, and have successfully completed a stringent ARM auditing process to ensure they meet the highest quality standards.

    “The new ARM Approved Design Partner program enables a powerful and extensive network of global design houses,” said Chris Shore, training product manager, ARM. “Open-Silicon has a successful track record in custom SoC design and manufacturing services as well as ASIC projects, and it has made significant investments in its ARM-based product services roadmap. As a member of the program, Open-Silicon can now play a valuable role in helping to enable the easy and rapid development of new ARM-based devices.”

    Open-Silicon’s selection for the ARM Approved Design Partner program validates the company’s investments in its ARM TCoE (Technology Center of Excellence), established in 2011, and its recent Spec2Chip IoT ASIC Platform, which was developed for low risk and reduced schedule custom SoC development. This scalable platform is based on the ARM Cortex-M processor, TrustZone® CryptoCell hardware-accelerated security technology and ARM mbed™ SDK. This platform allows IoT ASIC designs to be evaluated at the system level.

    “ARM and Open-Silicon share the same vision for simplifying the path for system developers to deploy IoT platforms,” said Vasan Karighattam, VP of engineering, Open-Silicon. “Through this collaboration, both companies are paving the road to IoT innovation by facilitating the development of highly-differentiated custom SoC designs.”

    About Open-Silicon

    Open-Silicon transforms ideas into system-optimized ASIC solutions within the time-to-market parameters desired by customers. The company enhances the value of customers’ products by innovating at every stage of design — architecture, logic, physical, system, software, and IP — and then continues to partner to deliver fully tested silicon and platforms. Open-Silicon applies an open business model that enables the company to uniquely choose best-in-industry IP, design methodologies, tools, software, packaging, manufacturing, and test capabilities. The company has partnered with over 150 companies ranging from large semiconductor and systems manufacturers to high-profile start-ups, and has successfully completed over 300 designs and shipped over 120 million ASICs to date. Privately-held, Open-Silicon employs over 250 people in Silicon Valley and around the world. www.open-silicon.com