— Nikos Zervas, COO
From our early years in the 1990’s, CAST’s methodology for delivering high-quality, high-value reusable IP to customers has been unique, and—as our survival record suggests—uniquely effective.
Being among the first to develop IP and working directly with the diverse engineering teams and product types of early IP adopters gave us a great appreciation for exactly what designers need in a reusable IP package. Coupling this experience with the brilliant IP design work from the best application area experts across the globe let us deliver ready-to-use IP products with very high standards for quality and utility as well as technical robustness. We backed these products up with fanatical customer support, providing technical guidance both pre-sales to help designers choose the best IP for their needs and post-sales to help them succeed in using it.
Early on we developed a reputation for 8051 leadership that persists today, providing the smallest, fastest, easiest-to-configure 8051 IP available. These products helped the venerable 8-bit microcontroller have a long useful lifetime that still continues, and our efforts to offer the best-available 8051 cores continue. Watch for upcoming growth here that makes the 8051s we offer the smartest choices for a number of modern applications including many Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
As customers’ needs grew beyond 8-bit MCUs, we applied the successful 8051 paradigm of complete, royalty-free, highly competitive packages to the area of 32-bit processors.
Partnering with Beyond Semiconductor, we have brought to market embedded processor IP that challenges (or beats) the market leader and other vendors in performance, code density, and power efficiency. These royalty-free BA2x Family processor cores are coupled with an ecosystem of software tools and peripherals, and we’re well into the challenge of growing this family from embedded system solutions to full application and SoC processors.
The huge demand for mobile and other video devices means much exciting product growth today involves coupling processors with graphics-specific functions. We are now rolling out graphics accelerators, display controllers, and graphics processor units (GPUs) to meet this demand via a partnership with Think Silicon. See our initial announcements earlier week, and watch for more coming up.
In parallel with MPUs, CPUs, and GPUs, we offer a broad family of highly-competitive Image and Video Compression cores that began with JPEG and JPEG 2000 then also encompassed MPEG2 and H.264.
Based on partner Trilinear Logic’s decades of experience, our own development efforts, and especially the twelve-year partnership with Alma Technologies, these cores can address the compression requirements of almost any camera-enabled application, from surveillance to high-end professional cameras, and from smartphones to broadcasting equipment. With an eye on evolving technologies like H.265, and 4K- and 8K-video and an appreciation that turnkey subsystems and configurable platforms are increasingly necessary, we’re committed to expanding this portfolio of compression and compression-companion cores—from video preprocessing to networking hardware stacks—and to delivering technological expertise and services to our customers.
Observers of the CAST product line over the past two decades will recall that we once carried a line of 100 different cores. As the IP market began and grew, dozens of standards-based interfaces, controllers, and obsolete part replacement IP was a great match for customer needs. Today, though, much IP is available as a commodity from several sources.
We still offer great products for building out complete systems, including encryption from Alma Technologies, plus key bus and off-chip interfaces, peripherals, and more from partners Fraunhofer IPMS and SoC Solutions and our own development centers.
But we are shifting the unique value that CAST offers to focus more on the processor, graphics, and compression technologies mentioned above and on pre-integrating these to support the next phase of IP evolution: subsystems and platforms.
Leveraging our great partnerships and our long IP experience, we have begun to introduce pre-integrated, pre-verified, ready-to-roll subsystems combining MCUs, CPUs, GPUs, compression, peripherals, and other cores as needed to give customers complete solutions for specific SoC requirements. Platforms that are ready to run modern operating systems, support advanced graphics, and work with all the essential peripherals are one example (with even more advanced processors in the works); application platforms like our recently-announced Video Over IP Subsystem are another.
Never just a distributor or a niche IP technologist, CAST’s unique, twenty-years-old, model of IP developer, integrator, and aggregator is working better than ever, and we plan to take it to the extreme for our customers’ benefit. Our end goal remains the same as when we started twenty years ago: deliver great value to customers by offering competitive, well-supported, complete and affordable (royalty-free) solutions for SoC designs.
CAST is increasingly the smart choice when it comes to processor and compression cores, subsystems, and platform IP, and we challenge you to experience it.