Avnet plans new era for chip design

Avnet plans new era for chip design
Mick Elliott Avnet is to start offering a system-on-a-chip design and manufacturing service to its OEM customers. In a move which is bidding to put component distribution into a new arena, Avnet will sign a clutch of intellectual property (IP) core licence deals in the coming months. Motorola Semiconductor’s M.Core offering will be first on the list, while Philips Semiconductors is also thought to be in talks with Avnet. “We will also be talking to the specific IP core companies,” confirmed Tesfaye Embaye, v-p for Avnet Design in Europe. Microprocessor design houses ARM and ARC are the best examples in Europe, though Embaye stressed that Avnet was not necessarily talking to either of these companies. He did indicate that Avnet was in negotiations with Cadence Design Systems on a franchise to supply design tools for the venture. The deal has sprung out of Avnet’s existing design support based on LSI Logic’s Asic products. LSI Logic has agreed to act as a foundry for the products Avnet designs and manufactures for its customers. Xilinx, another prominent Avnet franchise, may also act as foundry for any IP added to system-on-a-chip devices based on its FPGAs. Embaye is already working on plans to support the business in Europe. “We will possibly look at establishing design centres in different European countries. Certainly we will be looking to recruit design engineers,” he said. Small to medium size OEMs who do not have in-house design facilities will be the target market.


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