Advanced Micro Devices and Virage Logic Corp., a semiconductor IP licence company, have formed a new relationship that grants Virage Logic the rights to license, modify and sell standards-based advanced interface IP that AMD designs for use in its extensive graphics processor product line. As a result, Virage receives physical interface circuit design that works, whereas AMD gets additional revenue stream.
The agreement enables Virage Logic to provide AMD's silicon-proven technology for PCIe, HDMI and MIPI (mobile industry processor interface) interfaces at advanced process nodes to companies seeking to leverage existing intellectual property (IP) in order to help speed product development. It is interesting to note that earlier AMD/ATI used to license interface technologies from Virage, hence, the reasons behind the agreement may not only include necessity of creation of new revenue streams.
“Along the way, AMD has worked closely with Virage Logic as a trusted provider of highly differentiated physical IP. Today, we're expanding our relationship to help Virage Logic bring AMD's internally designed, production-proven IP to its customers around the world,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of ATI, graphics products group of AMD.
While it may sound strange that an IP licensing company licensees technologies from others, it seems to be a logical decision: creation of advanced IP for advanced process technologies is time-consuming and costly accomplishment. For AMD, it is crucial to develop appropriate interfaces for its graphics processors that are made using the leading-edge technologies. A natural way to capitalize on such expertise and product portfolio is to sell its own products, but an alternative way is to license that IP to others, perhaps, even to its rivals via Virage Logic.
Virage Logic said that it was already engaging with early adopters for deployment of this new high speed interface IP product offering and will announce general product availability in the first half of 2009.
“Through this relationship, we will help address the shortage of high quality, silicon proven advanced interface IP available at leading process nodes. Virage Logic's agreement with AMD is yet another example of how in addition to our organically developed products; we continue to innovate a variety of inorganic growth strategies to maximize ROI and address the transformation that is taking place in the global semiconductor industry.” said Dr. Alex Shubat, president and chief executive officer of Virage Logic.