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The Divorce That Never Happened

Gabe Moretti, Senior Editor

Last week ARM and Synopsys jointly announced a new agreement that allows Synopsys an early access to a wide range of ARM product families in order to tune the Synopsys tools to the requirements engineers will face when developing systems containing those IP cores.

The multi-year subscription agreement expands Synopsys’ access to a broad range of ARM intellectual property (IP) and related technologies to enable optimization of Synopsys tools and methodologies for ARM-based system-on-chips (SoCs). Through this agreement, Synopsys has pre-production access to ARM Cortex processors for the ARMv8-A and ARMv7-A architectures, ARM Mali graphics processors, ARM CoreLink system IP, ARM Artisan physical IP, and ARM POP IP for implementation acceleration. Building on more than 20 years of collaboration as well as the August 2012 license agreement between the companies for ARMv7-A processors and related IP, this new agreement allows Synopsys to further optimize its design flows and tools for ARM-based SoCs, enabling designers to meet their power, performance and area goals, while reducing cost and time-to-market.

It was only four years ago that the rumor was that following Synopsys acquisition of Virage Logic and its ARC family of processors there would not be any more room for ARM and Synopsys to work together.   I was told that Cadence would replace Synopsys as the preferred EDA vendor at ARM.  I was instructed on the short sighted move Synopsys had made by entering the MCU market with a family of products that had never been competitive in the market.  And I was told that Synopsys would have to scrap the ARC family of products and eat humble pie in order to ever see another dollar from ARM.

At the time I had very few ammunitions to combat those positions.  But I knew Synopsys and I was sure that some significant due diligence had been done before expanding there presence in the design for test market with established IP products.   And it did not make sense to me that Synopsys would let an “accident” spoil its relationship with ARM.  The result was that I did not join the ranks of those prophesying imminent ruin for Synopsys,

Or even an open marketing war between ARM and Synopsys.  I did not, to be fair, also not openly contest those rumors, coming as they were, from individuals who are frequently, “in the know”.

If there ever were dirty linens involved, they were cleaned privately: after all ARM knew where ARC processors fit in the market, and had never spent much effort in defending its market from Virage Logic.  So during all the ensuing years relationships between ARM and Synopsys have continued to be positive, and, just in time for ARM TechCon we are given the strongest possible assurance that the two companies are making money together by leveraging each other’s technology.

The multi-year subscription agreement  expands Synopsys’ access to a broad range of ARM intellectual property (IP) and related technologies to enable optimization of Synopsys tools and methodologies for ARM-based system-on-chips (SoCs). Through this agreement, Synopsys has pre-production access to ARM Cortex processors for the ARMv8-A and ARMv7-A architectures, ARM Mali graphics processors, ARM CoreLink system IP, ARM Artisan physical IP, and ARM POP IP for implementation acceleration. Building on more than 20 years of collaboration as well as the August 2012 license agreement between the companies for ARMv7-A processors and related IP, this new agreement allows Synopsys to further optimize its design flows and tools for ARM-based SoCs, enabling designers to meet their power, performance and area goals, while reducing cost and time-to-market.

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