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Date: 12-06-15

One-stop shop IP offerings, key business trend in silicon IP market

However good is your silicon VLSI IP, if it requires large amount of verification and integration efforts to integrate with other IPs market, SOC designers will rise a question mark in selecting such IPs. Instead they have a choice to select complete IP subsystem with silicon proven support, integration and verification support, and IPs which are already a commercial success; they would prefer to go for that. That's the reason most of the VLSI IP vendors who have strong competition are moving towards supporting the chip designers with complete IP subsystem. If this trend continues, someday you will have a complete SOC IP platform available from IP vendors, if not through a single vendor but by partnering with complementing IP suppliers. That's what DSP IP vendor CEVA has done recently to capture RF IP market in the fast-growing wearables and IOT as well as smart device market. CEVA had acquired RivieraWaves in 2014, and has started partnering with complementing RF IP vendors in offering larger part of SoC block. CEVA and RivieraWaves were collaborating in Wi-Fi market for the last two years before this acquisition could happen.

CEVA partnered with Catena to make CEVA's RivieraWaves Wi-Fi and Bluetooth IP Works seamlessly with Catena's radio IP with integrated PA and switch to give a very power and area efficient solution.

Catena's Connectivity RF IP portfolio includes optimized, very low power Bluetooth Smart radio, Bluetooth Smart Ready radio, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac 1x1, 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO) radios and combo Bluetooth / Wi-Fi radio.

CEVA has a similar partnership with Maxscend in offering complementing radio IPs. Maxscend's Connectivity RF IP portfolio includes optimized, very low power Bluetooth Smart radio, Bluetooth Smart Ready radio and combo Bluetooth / Wi-Fi (802.11 802.11b/g/n) radio.

CEVA is offering RivieraWaves Wi-Fi Ips in three versions so that the product is customised for particular application. The three version are:

1. The IOT specific Wi-Fi IP RivieraWaves Sense is designed for wearables, medical, wireless audio and other Internet of Things (IoT) SOC chips. These are designed to consume very less power so that they can operate even using single AA battery for years.

2. RivieraWaves Surf, is a high bandwidth 802.11ac 1x1 and 2x2 Wi-Fi IP for products such as smartphone, tablet, the smart home, surveillance cameras and and such applications.

3. The high-performance RivieraWaves Stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi IP targets applications such as access points, media gateways and Wi-Fi offload in small cells. RivieraWaves Stream allows customers to design a complete 802.11ac 4x4 solution that consumes less than 3.5W peak including RF and PA, says CEVA.

RivieraWaves Wi-Fi IP integrates Upper MAC (UMAC), Lower MAC (LMAC) and PHY modem functions. The UMAC and LMAC software stacks are processor and operating system agnostic. The modem can be provided either as a hardwired function or as a software defined modem (SDM). While the software model offers flexibility, whereas the hardwired modem consumes lesser silicon space and less power consumption.

RivieraWaves Bluetooth 4.2 IP is also offered by Ceva as a co-existence interface which handles Wi-Fi/Bluetooth traffic arbitration to avoid interference, further simplifying the overall system design.

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