IBM Licenses ARM7TDMI Microprocessor Core

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Fishkill, N.Y - 18 Mar 1998: -- IBM today announced it has licensed the ARM7TDMI microprocessor design from ARM of Cambridge, England, for use in IBM's custom microchip offerings.

The agreement enhances IBM's position as a leading supplier of custom semiconductors, allowing it to better address the needs of communications equipment manufacturers and other makers of electronic devices that build their products around the ARM7TDMI architecture. The addition of ARM7TDMI to IBM's "core library" underscores IBM's commitment to meet customer requirements through a broad set of best-of-breed technologies.

"We added the ARM architecture to our core library in order to ensure that we offer our customers a complete menu for their applications, including networking, storage and consumer electronics," said Luis Arzubi, general manager of ASICs and embedded controllers, IBM Microelectronics. "We are committed to expanding our portfolio of cores to provide our customers with a total ASIC solution."

"IBM's selection of the ARM7TDMI microprocessor core demonstrates not only the strength of our key features, but ARM's flexibility in meeting customer demands for time-to-market advantages," said Sam Fouquet, director of ARM's North American Partner Alliances.

ARM7TDMI is a microprocessor "core" -- a chip design that can be combined with other design components in a building block fashion to produce chips with unique functions. The reuse of design elements can reduce the time and expense necessary to develop new chips for specific applications. Depending on the level of sophistication, however, these Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) designs can still be quite complex. IBM's implementation of ARM7TDMI includes several features that can help manufacturers more easily incorporate ARM7TDMI technology.

IBM is initially offering ARM7TDMI in a 0.35 micron process technology. However, the core is fully "synthesizeable," meaning that it can be readily adapted to more compact, higher-performance geometries of 0.25 micron and beyond without requiring customers to change their basic design. IBM has also adapted ARM7TDMI to use IBM's Level Sensitive Scan Design (LSSD) technology, which allows for more thorough testing of the device. This can help provide a higher degree of "first-time-right" designs and reduced time-to-market for customers. Finally, IBM has adapted ARM7TDMI to work seamlessly with its other core offerings, providing customers with a full portfolio of design options.

Early customer designs involving ARM7TDMI are currently sampling, with customer shipments expected to begin in the first half of 1998. ARM7TDMI is now generally available as part of IBM's Blue Logic technology, a comprehensive set of custom chip offerings that can be integrated into manufacturers' products with the help of IBM's worldwide design centers.

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