Partner IP

OpenFive Demystifies IP Selection and Integration

Selecting and integrating IP is rapidly becoming the biggest challenge of the SoC/ASIC industry. The success of an SoC depends on the careful selection of reliable IP. Selecting the correct IP involves lengthy procurement time, and legal and business negotiations in addition to significant technical qualifications.

OpenFive has a dedicated IP team that works with a wide variety of IP providers and is continually qualifying and ranking IP and updating our portfolio of recommended IP. Our primary goal is to help you make informed IP decisions that differentiate your product, assure IP quality and reusability, and deliver first-time working silicon.

Our IP experts work continuously with customers and IP vendors to identify market needs for IP with a special focus on early identification and development of IP to meet emerging standards.

Our capability to tailor IP to your specific needs combined with our wide portfolio of IP enables us to provide the optimal IP solution for each SoC.

The OpenFive IP advantages include:

  • Experience from over 600 successful IP integrations to date.
  • IP aggregation model with pre-negotiated contracts that provides easy, cost-effective access to pre-qualified IP from a wide variety of vendors.
  • Strong relationships with our IP partners, and a deep understanding of the IP development and integration process, which ensures timely delivery and integration of IP in the design phase, leading to predictable schedules.
  • Our multi-step approach to seamless IP integration ensures that high-quality silicon-proven IP is used in the design, leading to first-time silicon success.
  • A single contract with OpenFive greatly streamlines the licensing and purchasing of IP.


The OpenMODEL is an ASIC development process that combines OpenFive’s extensive design and product engineering expertise with customer-driven supply chain implementation. The central goal of the OpenMODEL is to enable customers to utilize the best technology available on the open market.  Combining the foundry that is the best match for the product type, with the world’s best IP, allows development of industry-leading semiconductors. Unlike traditional ASIC vendor models that offer only a limited and fixed menu of options, with the OpenMODEL customers instead can make informed choices that lower cost and reduce risk at each step of the ASIC implementation process.

The process begins with a systematic cost analysis that optimizes expenditures at each step in the supply chain. Customers then choose from OpenFive’s broad portfolio of qualified semiconductor intellectual property and extensive strategic partnerships with the world’s leading manufacturing, test, and packaging providers. OpenFive’s disciplined design methodology is then applied to produce reliable, predictable ASICs at a significantly lower cost.

Engineering Collaboration

OpenFive acts as a customer’s engineering partner, leveraging a customer’s available resources and supplying critical services to make a complete construction team. Customers can provide an existing device in need of power and cost reduction, or even a marketing idea for a next-generation product. OpenFive will manage the IC development and deliver working silicon back to the customer for evaluation.

Depending on their resource availability, the customer may provide the project a single marketing engineer, or maybe a systems architect, or even an entire front-end RTL design and verification team. OpenFive will work with the customer to assemble the right technology, design partners and supply chain to deliver the best possible customer silicon for the application.

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IP Selection

It is very common for IP to be procured from multiple vendors.  Working with each vendor requires careful management of technical, quality, business and legal issues. Taking hard-IP as an example, modern SoCs often integrate multiple high-speed serial interfaces, such as PCIe, USB, and XAUI, memory interfaces such as DDR, CPUs such as ARM, MIPS, and Tensilica, and analog IP, including ADCs, DACs, PLLs, DLLs, and power management blocks, next to library and commodity IP that includes memories, IOs, and standard cells.

Various product development parameters, including time-to-market, cost, features, area, power and performance, drive selection of both technology and IP.  For example, a low-voltage device with a unique interface may require a low-power technology, which means the unique interface IP that is needed now has the additional constraint of having to be available in that low-power technology. In addition, the risks associated with a possible lack of proven quality for that IP need to be weighed and taken into account when selecting the IP from various IP vendors.

Finally, as part of the IP selection-process, both compatibility and inter-operability need to be insured. For example, in TSMC’s 90G process multiple voltages can be supported for the IO oxide (1.8, 2.5 and 3.3V). However, not all combinations are supported at this technology node. The selection of IO libraries and PHYs needs to take this into account to ensure compatibility of the selected IP. Another example involves DDR PHYs and their associated controllers where interoperability concerns exist, especially in case when the DDR and the PHY are procured from different vendors, since the standard for the interface between them is new and may to a large extent still be unproven.


OpenMODEL™ Means Choice

Our OpenMODEL provides complete choice for every step in the process of designing and manufacturing a custom ASIC. Unlike traditional ASIC vendor models that do not permit customers to make supply-chain decisions, we allow customers to make informed choices that lower cost and reduce risk at each step of the ASIC implementation process.

Strategic Partnerships

Please feel free to view a full list of our featured partners.

OpenFive has extensive strategic partnerships with the world’s leading manufacturing, test, and packaging providers and offers a broad portfolio of qualified semiconductor intellectual property. We optimize your chip supply-chain through a wide portfolio of fabrication process technologies, pre-qualified IP, package assembly and test solutions, and a world-class design, product engineering and operations team. Our design partners extend our capabilities to offer services and point solutions for other aspects of Chip design from Spec to Netlist as well as broaden the types of ASICs that we can service.

Ultimate Flexibility

We are unique in the industry for our ability to work with other partners than those listed below. OpenFive has integrated over 400 IP cores, including those pre-qualified by OpenFive and others that customers chose themselves. On the foundry side, while OpenFive designs into our partner foundries we also help customers manage their production at whatever foundry originally selected for the design. As a result, OpenFive has worked with 8 different wafer foundries to date.