Samsung Foundry, the contract chip-producing business unit of Samsung, has built a system that allows its key partners to have sales and maintenance rights of the chip giant’s IPs.
The company has previously done this on its own but it seems it is now making a middleman distribution system for its IPs.
This is very similar to how its rival TSMC operates. The Taiwanese chip giant, the world’s largest contract hip manufacturer, operates an IP Alliance.
Its key partners such as design house and IP designers are part of the alliance.
TSMC’s aim is to foster these partners for long-term, co-growth, a strategy that has seemed to work as it has over triple the number of IPs __ over 30,000 __ of Samsung, which has around 10,000.
Samsung’s aim to copy this model started two years ago, sources said.
IPs are a crucial element for foundry companies like Samsung and TSMC to win orders from fabless companies such as Apple and Qualcomm.
Fabless companies, which design chips but don’t have their manufacturer facility, are keen to use existing IPs of their foundry partners as this leads to more efficient manufacturing.
Samsung has grouped its IPs and given the rights over them to different companies; in interconnect, Qualitas Semiconductor now has the rights.
In memory the partner is Openedge Technology; In analog it is TechwidU.
This strategy means Samsung can focus on foundry itself while not competing with other chip IP companies, the sources added.