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Subsystem IP delivers complete USB solution

Posted: 28 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:subsystem IP? USB subsystem? integrated subsystem?

Seeking to reduce costs and design cycles for customers, Mentor Graphics Corp. is altering its intellectual-property strategy by launching the first in a family of integrated subsystems composed of silicon-proven hardware and software IP.

Subsystem IP line
Mentor Graphics' first so-called Subsystem IP line is a complete USB solution that bundles a digital controller, a PHY component and middleware. The EDA specialist also plans to roll out Subsystem IP products for Ethernet, PCI and serial ATA applications this year.

In the past, Mentor Graphics offered separate and discrete IP components, middleware and an RTOS. It provides IP for Ethernet, PCI, serial ATA, USB and other applications.

The company will continue to carry these individual components for OEMs. But now, it also will offer a more complete solution that bundles hardware and its embedded-software offerings, said Bill Martin, general manager of Mentor Graphics' IP Division.

"This past year, many of our large customers have experienced integration issuesprimarily with digital controllers and embedded-software IPdelaying their consumer product introductions," Martin said. "To help remove these integration challenges, we are responding to customer requirements with our Subsystem IP solution."

The solution is geared toward both large and small companies. Martin said it is especially beneficial for smaller companies and startups that have little or no expertise in IP integration.

"It may lower the barrier for startups to build products," he said.

Subsystem IP from Mentor Graphics aims to cut design time

Compared with other IP, middleware and RTOS vendors, Mentor Graphics is "the only company that provides a complete solution," Martin said.

Mentor Graphics' USB subsystem is aimed at MP3 players, digital cameras, game machines, DSL systems, industrial gear, networking products, PDAs, STBs and other applications.

The USB subsystem includes a high-speed On-the-Go controller, a USB 2.0 PHY component and the company's MUSB-MicroSW middleware. The middleware provides driver support for the IP, but the Subsystem IP offering is not bound to any processor or OS, including the company's own software stack, dubbed Nucleus.

The Subsystem IP, however, can be ordered with the Nucleus software stack. Nucleus is an embedded OS that comes with hardware drivers, class drivers and multimedia management.

Mentor Graphics' USB Subsystem IP is available now. Serial ATA and Ethernet solutions are under development, with availability set for 2007.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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