How repeat IP reuse delivers significant savings

When IP reuse is implemented quickly and easily, small cost savings can turn into good profit margins. Thalia Chair Rodger Sykes explains how when you maximize the number of repeat reuses, you also maximize the potential for efficiencies and cost savings.

The development of a new chip involves significant upfront costs and investment. The higher the complexity, the greater those costs and the more difficult it can be to make profit. Product marketing teams look to product diversification, differentiation or simply expanding or updating their range of products to maximize the potential for profitable reuse – all which potentially can, or must, be replicated across multiple process technologies.

If we’re talking about the economics of our business model, let’s state clearly upfront: whichever way you look at the economics, analog IP reuse is a cost-effective strategy in process migration. Using Thalia’s AMALIA IP Reuse platform, our customers are able to reduce the time and the costs of their IP reuse and this can save up to 40% which enables them to not only cover all of the initial design and the reuse, but to make a good profit.

While developers do appreciate how IP reuse can increase profitability and help them to recover some of the costs – they are often still often left wondering why they have only covered development costs and can barely break-even.

Quantifying the level of cost saving is not always straightforward: for a start the savings are not only $ savings. Competitive advantages in terms of time-to-market, and design time saved, or simply the reduction in component or IP costs are all significant factors.

Still sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Saving money or time, amounts to the same thing, right? And it’s all positive. Well, yes – and no.

Savings are all positive, but there are other approaches to design that can also save money and/or time. Developing a clearer understanding of the potential benefits of IP reuse means maximizing the potential savings.

It’s when IP reuse is implemented quickly and easily that small cost savings turn into profit margins. When you also maximize the number of repeat reuses you maximize the potential for efficiencies and cost savings.

Looking at the mix of our customers we can examine where the greatest gains are consistently made. Firstly, it’s the speed of implementing IP Reuse using Thalia’s AMALIA platform that makes a significant difference to those timescales. Secondly, the economic arguments supporting IP reuse are fundamentally economies of scale – and the numbers get really interesting when a continued reuse strategy is at the heart of customers’ design strategy.

Just isolating cost savings, we can see that casual, ad hoc reuse might deliver savings of the order of 2-3X. But, when design teams plan intelligent repeat reuse of IP blocks, across multiple designs, ported to multiple processes – and then go a stage further and apply this across the entire product portfolio – savings ramp up quickly. Design costs decrease exponentially with each instance, or each generation of reuse. Beyond a sixth reuse, customers tell us costs become insignificant – the savings and benefits are significant.

Beyond the financials, the design team’s familiarity with specific, trusted IP can count for significant economies in terms of efficiencies: saving design time, eliminating headaches and enabling the team to reach the optimum final design, ported to new processes in the shortest possible timescales.

If design reuse applies automated intelligent tools, employing self-learning AI tools, such as the Thalia’s AMALIA Design Enabler, then this further enhances time and cost savings as the tools will benefit from existing acquired intelligence, finding its way to the optimum design solution in the least possible time.