Black Pepper Spices up the Arm Approved Design Partner Program
By Ciarán Dunne, VP and GM, Partner Enablement Group, Arm
- Arm names Black Pepper as its tenth Approved Design Partner
- The company is Arm’s first design services partner in India, providing greater reach in APAC
- Black Pepper offers Arm IP licensees turnkey chip design services and full lifecycle solutions
One of the key features of the Arm ecosystem is its open and collaborative nature, and that’s no more evident than in its bank of Approved Design Partners. They bring an additional layer of design expertise and capabilities to SoCs from Arm silicon partners, enabling them with more opportunities to bring custom chips to a vast variety of markets.
Ensuring a global spread of design partners, especially around the world’s biggest tech hubs, has always been a priority for us and the addition of India’s Black Pepper is an important milestone on that journey. We now have a trusted design services partner in Bangalore able to support regional APAC licensees within or closer to their respective time zones. India is a hotbed for technology potential, with the government predicting the semiconductor component market alone will be worth more than $30 billion by 2025.
Black Pepper: Making Arm-based ideas a reality
In addition to providing a design services route for Arm IP in India, Black Pepper also has a presence in Singapore and will soon expand to North America. In the company’s own words: “Give us a barely-there idea - captured perhaps on nothing more than a white-board - and we can transform it into a form-factor-ready product, fully manufacturable and ready to be drop-shipped in high volumes”.
A dozen tier-1 semiconductor companies utilize Black Pepper’s turnkey solutions which range from initial logic design to embedded software solutions and into post-design expertise including silicon validation, yield optimization and supply chain management.
Keeping the ecosystem open
For our ecosystem to continue to share success, we need to ensure the right partners have access to Arm IP at the right time, whether this is enabling design houses to work well with Arm IP, or making access to this IP easier, faster and more cost effective.
Arm established the Arm Approved Design Partners program in 2016 as a way of providing assurance that companies offering design services around the Arm architecture have the experience, quality systems and resources in place to develop Arm-based SoCs. It was a way of ensuring a healthy ecosystem of providers, with a guarantee of quality and support from Arm. Arm purposefully chose not to build its own System-on-Chip (SoC) design services team as we believe that an openly competitive ecosystem makes for a more innovative environment.
With ten approved partners now and more on the way, we believe this is a robust model for the IoT market in particular, as cost and time to market pressures keep increasing.
Meanwhile, to further help companies that want to build custom SoCs there's Arm DesignStart, a web portal which enables companies to quickly access technology such as the Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processors through a simple contract, with no upfront fee, and a success-based royalty model.
What is the Arm Approved Design Partner Program?
Chip implementation can be easily outsourced to one of many design service companies. These companies provide services across the custom SoC design process, allowing a company to outsource any part of a project - including chip manufacturing and supply.
The Arm Approved Design Partner Program is open to all System-on-Chip (SoC) design services companies. It provides low cost access to Arm IP so that these design houses can gain experience, together with the assurance provided by Arm that they have expertise in working with the Arm architecture.
Those services companies offer can include:
- Full custom chip life cycle management from specification to working silicon
- Providing engineering resources to augment your own design team
- Functional & physical design/verification services
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