Gabe Moretti, Senior Editor
The eSilicon IP MarketPlace product is simply what every IP vendor would like to have. I am not a practicing designer, yet I found the environment easy to navigate, full of useful information, and an evaluation tool that takes one directly to selecting the correct IP for the target design. Once I logged on and started my “test drive”, I felt instant gratification, as my commands produced data I could process readily, or information I could evaluate right away. And the best thing is that it is free.
In my career as an editor I have very seldom started a product launch review so positively, but it is my job to give the correct information and this product is special. The reason, I think, is because it bridges the gap between what one can learn from a good data sheet and what one finds when the GDS tape is generated. In between there is a lot of work, and work that gets exponentially harder as we move to the latest process nodes technology. And don’t even try to evaluate the same IP fabricated by two different foundries without this tool! It would just take too long.
The IP MarketPlace environment helps users avoid complicated paperwork; find which memories will best help meet their chip’s power, performance, and area (PPA) targets that apply to your specific requirements, easily isolate key data, and perform vital “what-if” analysis.
The IP MarketPlace environment contains all eSilicon-developed IP across multiple foundries and technologies:
- Memory compilers, including 28HPM TCAMs, four-port register files and two-port asynchronous register files
- General-purpose I/O libraries from 16nm to 180nm
- Specialty I/O libraries from 16nm to 180nm, including 1.8V/3.3V LVCMOS I/Os
Once a designer has chosen a memory type, IP Marketplace provides immediate answers with pre-loaded data for eSilicon memory compilers and I/O libraries. Engineers can:
- Generate dynamic, graphical analyses of power, performance and area (PPA) data
- View data graphically, in table format, or download it to Microsoft Excel
- Build and download a complete chip memory subsystem
- Generate and download IP front-end views
- Make changes over time and pay for the IP when ready to tape out (in the next release the payment will be made on-line without leaving the environment)
“We wanted to simplify the comparison of results across multiple technologies, architectures and other characteristics and take the guesswork out of hitting PPA targets,” said Lisa Minwell, eSilicon’s senior director of IP product marketing. “This goes much, much deeper than IP portals that serve as IP catalogs. Using the IP MarketPlace environment, users can download front-end views, run simulations in their own environments, then come back to purchase the back-end views of the IP and I/Os that best fit their design.”
To kick the tires go to http://www.esilicon.com/custom-ip/ip-marketplace. I bet you will be convinced. The only drawback I found is that it may take up to 24 hours before you get access to the tool since they email you back your login information almost immediately but then you have to wait for another email that gives you access to the site where you can choose an IP and start working with it. So the first time is not immediate gratification but, as I said, the wait is worth it.