IBM and STMicroelectronics have announced an alliance designed to accelerate development of advanced system-on-chip products.
The companies are exchanging intellectual property rights and will jointly develop integrated circuits (ICs) for current and future data storage applications and x86 compatible information appliances.
"This partnership takes our industry firmly into the new century," said Michael Attardo, general manager, IBM Microelectronics. "Our joint efforts will accelerate the proliferation of single chip solutions and help spread the power of the information network to new users and applications across the globe."
As the two companies tell it, the sharing of intellectual property rights is key to the project. Their combined portfolios are very large, and the two speak of using microprocessor and microcontroller cores, digital signal processors (DSPs), memory blocks, communications cores, sound and video cores and other functions such as high-speed serial interfaces.
In the data storage market specifically ST will gain access to IBM's embedded PowerPC technology, while IBM will gain ST's hard drive DSP and CMOS read channel technologies. They intend to use these and other cores plus the customer's hard disk controller logic to create super-integration ICs.
ST's PC-on-a-chip technology plus an x86 core will meanwhile be used to bring computer-on-a-chip products to market.
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