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Increased product design cost and risk have been driving the electronics industry to an increased focus on developing "product platforms." When a product platform requires eighteen months to three years to develop at a cost of as much as $500 million, and the cost is expected to be amortized over as many as 100 derivative products over a period of three to five years, the definition of the hardware and software architecture becomes extremely critical. The architecture often needs to be able to support emerging product requirements over the life of the platform without having to re-spin the chip. This need creates conflicting requirements for the platform. On one hand the solution needs to be customized to achieve the targeted performance and cost close to an ASIC. On the other hand there is a need for flexibility close to a programmable solution, where modifications and enhancements can be done by software changes rather then by re-spinning the hardware.
Date of Conference: Sept. 2006