Gabe Moretti, Senior Editor
International cooperation in the IP marketplace is not new. Many example of a core group of expert engineers who find the political environment in their country an obstacle to growth have developed business relationships with European and American companies.
CAST Inc. has joined forces with Boost Valley to develop and deliver IP verification solutions.
Boost Valley is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, and also has a sales office in Northbrook, Illinois. Egypt offers excellent electronic engineers although the unfortunate political climate in the country has limited the growth of the electronic industry in the country. The company specializes in digital design and verification, and focuses on developing and delivering advanced verification solutions for both standard semiconductor IP blocks and customer-specific requirements.
One of the issues most frequently mentioned when discussing the use of third party IP is its quality. Often, in the early days of the IP market, customers would find bugs in supposedly verified IP and had to spend both time and money helping the IP provider to fix the core. Although competition and experience have improved significantly IP quality, verification remains an issue.
Verification is not just a requirement for IP products. It is required in every design and often constitutes a major consumer of resources and time in the project. A market in Verification IP (VIP) has grown in the last few years to be a significant portion of the entire IP market.
One of the popular uses of VIP is to reduce the time system developers need for testing functional correctness and standards compliance. VIP products combine functional models, coverage blocks, test cases, and other tools to simplify the set up and use of a complete verification environment for a specific function, protocol, or standard. Since functional verification of today’s complex systems can take as much as 70% of overall development time, efficiency improvements in verification have a significant impact on reducing time to market.
In the new partnership, CAST will share IP products and expertise with Boost Valley to develop and improve their verification IP solutions, and will in turn market and sell Boost Valley’s VIP alongside the corresponding IP cores available from CAST. The companies have focused first on the Inter-IC (I2C) Bus standard, and verification IP. The Boost Valley VIP helps make bus interface IP like the I2C extremely reusable because of an innovative modular approach the company developed in its research lab. The products are available from CAST.