ARM snaps up Carbon system-on-chip assets

The purchase of Carbon's product portfolio is intended to improve system-on-chip architecture development and turnaround.

ARM has snapped up the product portfolio of Carbon Design Systems to optimize system-on-chip development.


Announced on Tuesday, the British semiconductor company said both the assets and Carbon's staff will transfer to ARM.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Massachusetts-based Carbon is a supplier of cycle-accurate virtual prototyping solutions for system-on-chip architecture. SoC microchips, used in small consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets, allow for multiple functions -- such as audio receivers, ADC converters, memory and logic control -- to be integrated on to one circuit.

This, in turn, gives devices the chance to become smaller but also increase the complexity of devices -- a key trend in the consumer technology realm through mobile and wearables.

ARM believes we are in a "post-PC" era, and so a business focus on small devices, whether they be smartphones, tablets, or wearables, will ensure the company's position in the technology industry moving forward.

The firm's processors are found in entry and high-end devices and range from the high-resolution ARM Cortex processors, Cortex-M low-energy processors and ARM Trustzone hardware for mobile device security.

By taking on Carbon's team and product portfolio, which includes system models for use with virtual prototypes of ARM-based SoCs, ARM gains assets which may could improve the speed of bringing new SoC solutions to the market by virtualizing products first and discovering bugs, design flaws and deployment problems before production begins.

Hobson Bullman, general manager of ARM's development solutions group commented:

"Early stage virtual prototyping of complex SoCs is now mandatory for leading silicon vendors, as demonstrated by the success of ARM Fast Models.

The integration of Carbon's virtual prototyping products into the ARM portfolio will deliver access to ARM IP earlier in the design cycle. This builds on the current industry leading solutions to enable further design optimization, time-to-market and cost-efficiency gains for our partners."

In the future, Carbon products will be marketed as ARM Cycle Models but will still be available to businesses for model generation and SoC analysis.

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