Intel buys NetSpeed Systems to make cheaper SoCs

Posted on Tuesday, September 11 2018 @ 13:12 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Intel announced the acquisition of NetSpeed Systems, a San Jose-based SoC IP vendor. The firm makes design tools and interconnect fabrics, and has proven network-on-chip technology. NetSpeed's technology helps to automate the design and validation process of SoCs. Intel says they purchased NetSpeed to more quickly and cost-efficiently make new SoCs.

Interestingly, the acquisition will become part of the Intel Silicon Engineering Group, which is headed by famous CPU architect Jim Keller. NetSpeed's co-founder and CEO Sundari Mitra will remain head of the unit. She was a design engineer at Intel from 1988 to 1992.

Intel did not disclose financial details about the deal.
What’s New: Intel today announced the acquisition of NetSpeed Systems, a San Jose, California-based provider of system-on-chip (SoC) design tools and interconnect fabric intellectual property (IP). Deal terms were not disclosed. NetSpeed’s highly configurable and synthesizable offerings will help Intel more quickly and cost-effectively design, develop and test new SoCs with an ever-increasing set of IP. The NetSpeed team is joining Intel’s Silicon Engineering Group (SEG) led by Jim Keller. NetSpeed co-founder and CEO, Sundari Mitra, will continue to lead her team as an Intel vice president reporting to Keller.

“Intel is designing more products with more specialized features than ever before, which is incredibly exciting for Intel architects and for our customers. The challenge is synthesizing a broader set of IP blocks for optimal performance while reining in design time and cost. NetSpeed’s proven network-on-chip technology addresses this challenge, and we’re excited to now have their IP and expertise in-house.” –Jim Keller, senior vice president and general manager of the Silicon Engineering Group at Intel

More Context about NetSpeed Systems: Founded in 2011, NetSpeed provides scalable, coherent, network-on-chip (NoC) IP to SoC designers. NetSpeed’s NoC tool automates SoC front-end design and generates programmable, synthesizable high-performance and efficient interconnect fabrics.

“Intel has been a great customer of NetSpeed’s, and I’m thrilled to once again be joining the company,” said Sundari Mitra, who worked at Intel as a chip designer earlier in her career. “Intel is world class at designing and optimizing the performance of custom silicon at scale. As part of Intel’s Silicon Engineering Group, we’re excited to help invent new products that will be a foundation for computing’s future.”

Intel expects to honor NetSpeed’s existing customer contracts, but NetSpeed will become an internal asset going forward.

Why It’s Important: As SoCs grow more complex and as new fabrication processes explode the number of design rules, architects are increasingly utilizing front-end tools like NetSpeed’s to automate the design and validation process – saving time and money. NetSpeed’s technology helps architects estimate and optimize SoC performance in advance of manufacturing through a system-level approach, user-driven automation and state-of-the-art algorithms.
NetSpeed Systems co-Founder and CEO with Jim Keller,

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