SoCIP 2009 boosts China chip IP industry

The ongoing financial crisis may have caused the low turnout of intellectual property (IP) companies at the SoCIP 2008, but S2C Inc. chairman Mon-Ren Chene said the event has enabled the company's business to grow.

Talking at the crowded SoCIP 2009 at Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, Shanghai, Chene said, "Our Silicon IP revenue this year has increased dramatically and in the first five months of this year, we have already achieved our 2009 IP sales target."

The number of exhibitors in SoCIP 2009 almost doubled compared to last year's turnout. Northwest Logics, Andes Technologies and EE Solutions are among the new participants. While S2C merely facilitated last year's event, the company this year joined the other exhibitors in sharing its latest technologies and products.

The main aim of the SoCIP event was to stimulate the development of China's semiconductor IP industry. Several S2C business partners also presented at the event. Remarking on some partners' performances last year in China, Chene proudly said, "Ittiam performed extremely well with its all-in-one HD video IP. CAST, with whom we have partnered the longest, is also doing well. We have also seen exceptional progress with eASIC, who just began a partnership with us in September."

Chene added, "From what we have observed, the hottest IP products in China's market this year target the video and graphics needs. HDMI and Displayport will lead the way in the next wave of technologies. For example, Transwitch's HDP Core (combination of HDMI and Displayport interfaces) has already been received extremely well in Japan and will become hot in China within the next two to three years." Chene pointed out that S2C is planning to introduce Transwitch's HDP IP, in TAI IP format, on its popular FPGA-based SoC prototyping tool to simplify IP evaluation and integration for its customers.

The success of IP business seems to have boosted the sales of S2C's TAI Logic Module, FPGA prototyping tool. The tool has been adopted by chip design companies including Spreadtrum, Atmel, Sunplus, Datang and Hisense, as well as IP providers such as CAST, Tensilica, EE Solution and PGC. Silicon IP and FPGA prototyping needs are usually coupled and S2C's TAI IP technology links the two SoC design necessities in one convenient tool. Chene said that because of its success in the Asian market, S2C will further promote its TAI IP technology in the United States in 2H 09.

As for the next step in China, S2C plans to integrate more IP cores designed by local Chinese companies into its TAI IP tools. Nevertheless, Chene noted that compared to veteran international IP providers, the local companies seem to lack standardized support and services. Chene also commented on the much-discussed issues with China's standards for many electronic products and systems. Frequent and unpredictable changes in local standards have seemingly obstructed the growth of many smaller local IP players. Chene's personal suggestion is that China's standards should be changed less frequently to allow the growth of the local IP industry.