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IP block owners

IP block owners

Posted Jun 3, 2011 21:42 UTC (Fri) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
In reply to: IP block owners by Bogerr
Parent article: Forking the ARM kernel?

The IP block creator is interested in not doing any more work than necessary. They also don't necessarily have a platform for developing and testing software that uses their IP block. Their IP block is set up with the core exchanging data on the signal lines, and they may develop with a test framework instead of an actual core on the other end of those lines. It would obviously be useful if they wrote and provided drivers for their IP blocks, but if their competition isn't doing so either, they can make sales without doing it. And, of course, this is yet another group of people whose technical expertise is not in writing maintainable code in good style (or even software at all). Really, there should be a single driver that goes with each IP block, and the IP block creator should be providing it to the SoC vendor. But they're not going to do the work without demand from the people who pay them.

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IP block owners

Posted Jun 9, 2011 12:02 UTC (Thu) by slashdot (guest, #22014) [Link]

Why would there be no demand?

Given two IP blocks doing the same thing, where one just works, and the other requires to assemble a team to write a driver, surely the first is more attractive, no?

In addition to saving the cost of developing the driver, it would be possible to test the IP block immediately with no investment, and thus feel immediately confident that it works and the final product can actually be shipped with it.

IP block owners

Posted Jun 9, 2011 20:02 UTC (Thu) by iabervon (subscriber, #722) [Link]

Ah, but there isn't an alternative IP block with a driver to pick. As long as nobody making IP blocks supplies drivers, everybody making them gets away with not supplying drivers. Once somebody starts providing competent drivers, everybody else will have to follow suit, as you suggest. But it's hard enough to do and a limited competitive advantage (since everybody else would copy you) that market pressures won't provide the activation energy.

Also, my impression is that you can't do much with an IP block until you fabricate an ASIC that includes it, which is a substantial investment anyway.

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