Alchemy Semiconductor Licenses Infineon DSP Core With Eye To Next Generation Voice And Data Communication Devices
Alliance Allows Internet Edge Company to Deliver Customized Enhancements and Future Technologies
AUSTIN, TX --
Alchemy Semiconductor, Inc.™, an Austin-based fabless semiconductor company targeting the Internet Edge Device market, announced today that it has finalized an agreement with Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE:IFX) to license their CARMEL™ DSP core architecture family. In a move that company officials say will broaden their current market strategy, the agreement gives Alchemy rights to fully synthesizable versions of both the CARMEL DSP 10xx and CARMEL DSP 20xx core architectures-allowing them to not only utilize but also enhance existing CARMEL high performance and low power attributes.
"Having DSP functionality allows Alchemy to integrate our leadership high performance, low power MIPS microprocessor core with a leadership DSP to penetrate deeper into new wireless and wireline applications," said Eric Broockman, President and CEO, Alchemy Semiconductor. "The CARMEL DSP core's architectural features make it optimal for the high-performance, low-power and high-integration designs that are the thrust of our Internet Edge Processor strategy."
The CARMEL DSP is a programmable, 16-bit, fixed-point DSP core that implements CLIW™ (Configurable Long Instruction Word) instructions, supporting very efficient execution of DSP functions while reducing program memory requirements. With the latest member of its DSP family architectures, Infineon introduced the PowerPlug™ module interface, allowing system-on-chip (SOC) designers to define application-specific execution units to further scale performance to over 800 MegaMACs, while controlling power consumption. As a logical extension of Alchemy's product plans supporting high performance, low power and high integration, the company plans to integrate the CARMEL technology into Alchemy's future system-on-chip designs and further improve CARMEL's performance and power efficiencies.
Broockman noted that the agreement between Alchemy and Infineon "Is a logical and ideal extension of our microprocessor base into future markets that allows us to meet upcoming generations of communication technologies and devices." These targeted devices fall into three main areas: 1) 3G (3G wireless data devices; 2) VoIP (Voice over IP) devices and access gateways; and 3) VoDSL (Voice over DSL) modems and access gateways.
Industry analysts assess the Alchemy/Infineon agreement as giving Alchemy a step up in meeting performance requirements of integrated voice-data future generation devices while extending their current market strategy.
"Every aspect of the Internet age is touched in some way by a DSP," stated Will Strauss, analyst with Forward Concepts Company. "The general-purpose DSP market was about $4.4 billion last year and expected to grow to $18 billion by 2004-and that still represents only a portion of the overall opportunities in DSP.
Strauss also noted that the gateways targeted by Alchemy connect the telephone network to packet-based networks, such as the Internet, enabling this whole new class of devices. Providing this capability to carrier access and gateway devices to the communications market can have a bigger impact than even network processors have had. "Alchemy is making a strong technology position by integrating this CARMEL DSP technology into their overall strategy," he concluded.
Andrew Seybold, Wireless Industry Analyst, agreed.
"More than 24 million people will access the Internet through wireless devices by 2003, and some analysts still say that's conservative," said Seybold. "Much of what is fueling this growth is replacement purchases of cell phones and handheld devices. Once we have GPRS (General Packet Radio System), there will be more compelling reasons for business owners and consumers to upgrade even further."
"The 3G applications list is still under debate, but wireless Internet will certainly require more performance at a low power. The combination of Alchemy technology and Infineon's CARMEL DSP core forms the basis to serve the new 3G application base," Seybold concluded.
"Alchemy's expertise is high performance, low power processors and the integration of our processor into high value SOCs targeted at the edge of the Internet," Broockman stated. "With the addition of Infineon's leadership DSP to our IP portfolio, Alchemy is well positioned to serve rapidly emerging integrated voice-data applications along the edge of the Internet. Wireless 3G, VoIP and VoDSL are prime examples of Internet Edge Devices which will benefit from Alchemy's high performance, low power microprocessors and DSP," he concluded.
About Alchemy Semiconductor
Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1999, Alchemy Semiconductor is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets high performance, yet very low power systems-on-a-chip (SOCs) for the Internet Edge Device market. The company's founding team includes several of the most prominent embedded microprocessor architects and developers in the world, allowing for a combination of proven design execution and MIPS performance technology to achieve high performance, low power dissipation and system integration in its Internet Edge Processor. Alchemy's headquarters are at 7800 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 222W, Austin, Texas 78757; or go to www.alchemysemi.com