How to Choose an Intellectual Property Coreby Jayden Smith Blogger
Choosing an intellectual property (IP) core is of utmost importance as it can affect the overall performance and quality of the product. It also plays a major role in the profitability and product launch time aspects of the company. There are many challenges when choosing a core and IP development company for your business needs. An SoC (System on a chip) designer needs to determine which core is best suited for a specific SoC.
There are different types of core available in the market, and it is important to seek the advice of an IP development company as to which core is best suited in the particular situation. You need to choose the core depending on various factors such as the type of core (hard core or soft core), the quality of deliverables, and also the reliability of the IP development company.
Types of Cores
The advantage of an IP core is that you are able to create large System-on-a-Chip (SoC) designs in a small amount of time by integrating pre-made blocks that are already designed and verified. Although this saves time, it presents some challenges.
IP cores can be delivered to customers either in soft core or hard core. A soft core IP development design is a synthesizable core whereas hard core is fully implemented and ready for manufacturing. In the case of a soft core, the customer needs to synthesize the core and then implement it in its SoC. On the other hand, in the case of hard core IP development, the customer just needs to drop the hard core into the chip as a single monolithic piece.
The Benefits of Soft Core
Soft cores are much more flexible in function because they are not implemented. If the performance target is within the range of a soft core, then it can suit your needs perfectly. The SoC team of the IP development company can meet its performance goals with a soft core because of its inherent flexibility. As the process technology improves, so will the maximum limits of frequency of the soft core.
Hard core IP development on the other hand, can be used in many different SoC designs because the developers can spend time in optimizing their implementations. Although, in most cases, hard cores do offer higher performance, it does not offer the flexibility as that of soft core IP development.
In case you require performance that goes beyond the limits of current process and design technology, it would be wiser to choose a hard core IP development for your SoC design.
Another major advantage of soft core IP development is that it is technology independent. This means that it does not require a specific process technology or standard cell library. The same IP core can be implemented in different SoC designs, and also for future improvements or upgrades of the current design. On the other hand, hard core IP is very specific and can be implemented only for a specific purpose.
Created on Oct 4th 2018 08:26. Viewed 225 times.