ARM Acquires Duolog For SoC Expertise

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

ARM continues to cherry pick technologies after acquiring an Irish IP integration tools provider

Chip designer ARM is to acquire Dublin-based Duolog Technologies, which specialises in solving the challenges of IP integration and assembly for complex System-on­-Chip (SoC) designs.

Financial terms of the deal have not been revealed, but the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year.

Cherry Picking

According to ARM, the purchase of Duolog will allow it to strengthen its IP configuration and integration capabilities, as well as “address increasing SoC complexity.” It is reported in some media outlets that Duolog employs some 80 staff in Ireland and had a market valuation of over €20 million (£16.2m).

“The acquisition will expand ARM’s position at the forefront of deploying complex system intellectual property including debug and trace IP, and will help ARM partners design and deploy system IP and manage integration complexity,” said ARM in a statement.

ARM logoDuolog also has offices in Silicon Valley, and is best-known for developing Socrates, a platform used by most top semiconductor companies to help them reduce design cycles. Essentially, the Socrates platform configures IP in a standardised way that is ideal for importing into EDA tools – to perform tasks such as sub-system functional verification and validation.

“The agreement will extend ARM’s market reach for ARM CoreLink Interconnect and Controllers and CoreSight debug and trace roadmaps across mobile, enterprise and IoT markets,” said Cambridge, UK-based ARM. “Additionally ARM will extend the use of Duolog Socrates within its own sub-system design flow.”

ARM doesn’t manufacture any hardware of course. Instead it develops processor technology and licenses it to others. This model allows it receive royalties from third party chip sales, which has helped the company remain profitable whilst others in the chip industry have struggled.

ARM occasionally acquires other companies to bolster its portfolio. Last year for example it acquired the PANTA display controller cores from Cadence Design Systems in an effort to beef up the media and display capabilities of mobile devices.

It also acquired Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication software developer Sensinode for an undisclosed amount last year.

Chip Design Centre

Yet the company continues to invest internally as well.

It has just announced the establishment of a new CPU Design Centre in the Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan. This is ARM’s first CPU Design Centre in Asia. According to the company, it will focus on the design, verification and delivery of the ARM Cortex-M processor series targeted at the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables and embedded applications markets.

“Close proximity to key semiconductor and ecosystem partners and high-calibre local engineering talent makes Taiwan an ideal location for us to expand our CPU design activities,” said Simon Segars, chief executive officer of ARM. “The new design centre will have a particular focus on the development of ARM Cortex-M processors which are the market-leading design choice for IoT products. Establishing a new, world-class CPU design team in Taiwan will allow us to work even more closely with key regional partners seeking to accelerate this market.”

The new centre will apparently open at the end of the year.

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