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IBM and Xilinx team to create new generation of integrated circuits


New York, NY - 25 Jul 2000: IBM and Xilinx, leaders in their respective industries, announced that they will combine cutting-edge technologies to create a new generation of chips for use in communications, storage and consumer applications.

Under the agreement, the companies are working together to embed IBM PowerPC processor cores in Xilinx VirtexTM-II field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The pairing of a low-cost, high performance PowerPC processor core with customizable FPGA circuitry is designed to allow makers of electronic equipment to tailor custom chips for their particular application at reduced cost and with faster time-to-market.

"This joint effort will bring about a new design era combining programmable logic, time-to-market advantages with the cost benefits of standard cell technology," said Andrew Allison, semiconductor industry analyst. "This is a potent combination."

The new devices will initially be fabricated by IBM for Xilinx using advanced IBM chip manufacturing technologies, including copper, adding further to their performance and function. This will enable Xilinx to broaden its manufacturing volume and geographic diversity and leverage common foundry manufacturing processes. Availability dates for the new chips will be announced later this year by Xilinx.

"IBM and Xilinx are committed to meet each customer's unique blend of requirements for cost, design time and individualized function," said John Kelly, general manager, IBM Microelectronics. "This requires a variety of chip design options, from standard, off-the-shelf parts to FPGAs to ASICs. This agreement creates both a new approach in chip design, as well as a unique collaboration between the world's leading ASIC and programmable logic providers."

The complementary marketing and technology agreement will enable customers who choose FPGA solutions from Xilinx to more easily migrate to IBM ASIC and standard product solutions as appropriate. Customers will factor performance, cost, time-to-market and volume requirements in making a determination as to the best option for a given application, while using the same industry standard PowerPC and system-on-a-chip CoreConnect bus technology across all solutions.

"The combination of technologies will lead to a new level of performance and flexibility in the semiconductor market," said Wim Roelandts, president and CEO of Xilinx. "IBM's process technology is the most advanced in the industry and the PowerPC architecture has become the standard in communications enabling us to deliver the highest performance and density products into the market at the leading edge of technology."

Multifaceted Agreement

Under the multi-year agreement, Xilinx will license IBM's high performance PowerPC processor cores and CoreConnect bus for integration into Xilinx FPGAs. IBM and Xilinx will map the resulting designs to IBM's advanced chip manufacturing processes keeping Xilinx FPGAs on the leading edge of technology. IBM will license intellectual property from Xilinx that will add to IBM's capability to quickly move leadership process technologies into the marketplace. The companies also plan to explore other areas of cooperation that could benefit customers of both companies.

About IBM

IBM Microelectronics is the world's leading ASIC supplier and a key contributor to IBM's status as a premier information technology provider. IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor and interconnect technologies, products and services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic brands. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at www.chips.ibm.com.

About Xilinx

Xilinx is the leading innovator of complete programmable logic solutions, including advanced integrated circuits, software design tools, pre-defined system functions delivered as cores, and unparalleled field engineering support. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Jose, California, Xilinx invented the field programmable gate array (FPGA) and fulfills more than half of the world demand for these devices today. Xilinx solutions enable customers to reduce significantly the time required to develop products for the computer, peripheral, telecommunications, networking, industrial control, instrumentation, high-reliability/military, and consumer markets. For more information, visit the Xilinx web site at www.xilinx.com.

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Contact(s) information

Phillip Bergman
IBM
914-892-5204
bergmanp@us.ibm.com

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