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Freescale licenses ColdFire online via IPextreme

Posted: 23 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intellectual property licensing? embedded systems?

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has expanded its ColdFire licensing program by offering its 32bit V1 ColdFire core to the embedded community through IPextreme, a semiconductor technology licensing specialist. Using a ground-breaking business model, IPextreme's newly launched Core Store will enable customers to license ColdFire cores online at a fraction of traditional licensing costs. For as little as $10,000, customers can obtain a license for the V1 ColdFire core, giving them exceptional design flexibility using proven MCU technology based on three decades of evolutionary development.

"By offering the V1 ColdFire core to developers at the $10K threshold, Freescale and IPextreme are providing an exceptionally cost-effective entry point to ColdFire architecture," said Aiden Mitchell, consumer and industrial MCU product manager for Freescale's Microcontroller Solutions Group. "IPextreme's innovative online Core Store gives customers the design freedom and flexibility to develop application-specific solutions without the high cost and long sales cycle usually associated with traditional core technology transactions."

IPextreme plans to market the V1 through its Core Store site, a newly opened online marketplace ( By using IPextreme's Core Store site, customers can browse and license ColdFire MCU cores with a few quick and easy clicks. Customers also may benefit from greater flexibility in choosing technical and service support packages through the Core Store site.

Causing disruption
"Offering a single-use license of the V1 ColdFire core at a $10,000 price point will create significant disruption and expand design opportunities in the entry-level 32bit embedded marketplace," said Warren Savage, president and CEO of IPextreme. "We are excited to join forces with Freescale in this industry-changing licensing initiative."

Freescale launched the ColdFire licensing program in 2006 with the availability of its V2 ColdFire core through IPextreme. Working in collaboration with Freescale, IPextreme markets, sells and supports Freescale's V1 and V2 ColdFire cores to SoC designers seeking to integrate the cores and other functions onto single-chip ICs.

"IPextreme seems to serve as a virtual shopping mall for Freescale cores," said Tom Starnes, processor analyst at Objective Analysis. "The ColdFire core architecture has a rich history and a huge following, so it's good to see it available to customers wanting to add the architecture to their ASIC designs at an outrageously low cost."

Simple version
Designed for entry-level 32bit applications, the V1 ColdFire core is a simplified version of the V2 ColdFire core. The small-footprint V1 core is designed to deliver increased system utilization, resulting in the lowest power consumption of any ColdFire MCU product to date, while offering more than ten times the performance of 8bit MCUs. By making multiply-accumulate (MAC), enhanced MAC and divide functions optional, designers can minimize cost in applications that don't require enhanced performance.

The V1 core leverages the 2-stage instruction fetch pipeline and 2-stage operand execution pipeline featured in the V2 ColdFire microarchitecture. With a standardized 8bit bus and tightly-coupled 32bit local memories, the V1 core provides an ideal entry point to 32bit performance. Upward compatibility to other ColdFire cores provides a smooth roadmap to higher performance designs.

Embedded designers can create their own 32bit application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) containing a V1 ColdFire core combined with their proprietary technology. V1 core-based ASIC designs are software-compatible with standard ColdFire products and leverage the extensive third-party tools and software ecosystem supporting the ColdFire MCU portfolio. The entire ColdFire MCU family is supported by world-class development tools, including the CodeWarrior software suite and professional tools from Freescale's third-party partners.

License pricing and availability
The V1 ColdFire core is planned to be available for licensing in late Q1 08. IPextreme will market, license and support the V1 ColdFire core to SoC designers through its online Core Store. V1 ColdFire core licensing fees start at $10,000 (USD) for a basic single-use license.

To help designers speed time-to-market, the V1 core is supported by Freescale's standard product platform (SPP), which is expected to be available in late Q1 08 from IPextreme's Core Store. The SPP is a set of tested and silicon-proven peripherals that can be easily used to build large, complex systems.

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