Amphion Semiconductor Joins IBM Blue Logic IP Collaboration Program

12/19/2003 - Amphion Semiconductor Ltd, a leading supplier of digital video, imaging and encryption semiconductor IP solutions, announced that it has become a member of the IBM Blue Logic IP Collaboration Program.

Established in March 2002, the program can help enable right the first time design and rapid time-to-market of chips for advanced system products. It stimulates close working relationships between IBM and select third-party providers to facilitate customer utilization of IP cores that have been targeted at IBM Microelectronics' leading ASIC technologies. Amphion has implemented customer designs for MPEG-2 in IBM's 130nm process technology. "We're seeing an increase in the number of complex SoCs built around our IP cores, and they aim right at advanced semiconductor processes", said Stephen Farson, VP of Engineering at Amphion. "We have achieved excellent implementation using the IBM tools and methodology."

With the IBM Blue Logic IP Collaboration Program, third-party IP cores are available for licensing directly from the IBM program members to integrate into ASICs manufactured by IBM. "The Blue Logic IP Collaboration Program has been well-received by customers who require a broad range of design and manufacturing options in order to meet their design and time-to-market goals" said Tom Reeves, vice president, ASIC product group, IBM Microelectronics. "The program increases the offerings in the IBM library of technical solutions, and helps enable select third party providers, like Amphion, to offer their solutions within the IBM Blue Logic design methodology."

Amphion offers its MPEG-4, MPEG-2 and Motion-JPEG IP cores through the Program. These hardware cores use stream-based architectures to accelerate bit-stream performance while greatly reducing area and power consumption. In terms of overall speed, power, and area the Amphion cores are several orders of magnitude better than what can be achieved running programmable solutions on DSP or RISC architectures. Amphion's real-time solutions have also gained a reputation for robustly handling corrupt video streams in real-world environments.

The CS6700 series of MPEG-4 video encoder, decoder, and codec cores are fully compliant with ISO 14496-2 Simple Profile Levels 1-3. These cores are highly optimized - for example Level 1 decoding in 130nm technology, including post-processing and color space conversion, consumes less than 8 milliwatts at 12 MHz and requires less than 120K gates. The codec has become popular with cell phone chipset providers who need to add video. Performance can extend to support VGA resolution. The CS6600 series of MPEG-2 cores are particularly well-liked for consumer electronic products, especially digital televisions and displays, set-top boxes, DVD players, and digital video recorders. In 130nm technology the decoder can support up to four simultaneous MP@ML elementary streams or two simultaneous 422P@HL high-definition streams, making it an extremely cost-effective solution for applications migrating into the HD video market. The CS6100 cores are fully compliant with Baseline JPEG image compression and offer faster-than-real-time image processing. In 130nm technology, these cores deliver compression-decompression of full color images at 60 frames per second with compressed image quality comparable to 'I-frame only' MPEG-2. These cores have become popular in digital cameras, cell phones, satellite systems, and even HDTV broadcasting.

About Amphion
Amphion develops and licenses semiconductor intellectual property (SIP) for digital video and imaging applications. These include advanced ASIC and FPGA solutions for MPEG-4, MPEG-2, JPEG2000 and JPEG. The company also offers highly efficient AES and 3DES encryption solutions. Amphion is privately held with corporate headquarters and engineering in Belfast, Northern Ireland and worldwide sales and marketing headquartered in San Jose, California. For more information visit

Amphion, the Amphion logo, and "Virtual Components for the Converging World" are trademarks of Amphion Semiconductor Ltd.

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