CAST announces royalty-free BA22 32-bit RISC IP
There are designs in which you need a CPU core, but not an ARM core. The issue may simply be avoiding royalties, or export restrictions, or complying with a corporate policy. Or it may be that you are trying to hit a speed-area-power point that is a stretch for ARM’s current products, and you don’t want to invest in an expert in processor-core optimization. This situation can come up easily when a legacy design using an 8- or 16-bit core runs out of steam, for example, and needs to migrate to 32 bits.
In such cases there are options. One would be to use an open-source CPU core such as the open-SPARC S1 or the LEON, or the more specialized LatticeMico 32. But with such open-source cores you may be on your own for verification and integration.
Another alternative would be a commercial core such as one based on the BA2 architecture from Slovenian IP vendor Beyond Semiconductor. This particular choice may have become more attractive this week with the announcement that three pre-configured versions of Beyond’s BA22 core are now available under royalty-free license from IP supplier CAST.