Silicon IP Cores
CAST Begins 21st Year in the Semiconductor IP Market
CAST, Inc. has reached a rare milestone for companies providing intellectual property for electronic design automation: its twentieth anniversary.
CAST develops, aggregates, and integrates reusable IP cores and subsystems for designers of electronic systems. The company was founded October 29, 1993 with an initial mission to develop and sell simulation models. Customers soon requested “synthesizable models,” which then evolved to become the reusable IP cores that are essential to system design today. Along the way CAST has been a charter member of numerous semiconductor and third-party associations and participated in all key industry initiatives, helping to shape what has become a significant portion of the electronic design automation market.
The self-funded company has thrived where scores of others have come and gone by employing a flexible infrastructure, embracing a partnership approach with a diverse network of developers and sales/support representatives, and offering high-quality products with cost-effective, royalty-free licensing and superlative customer support.
“From CAST’s beginnings through today, we’ve resisted the short-term vision that can come from investment funding and aggressively adopted whatever models and methods most helped us deliver great products and services to the IP users needing them,” said Hal Barbour, chief executive officer for CAST. “That approach has paid off incredibly well, with CAST not only surviving but actually thriving over two decades, and having the honor to work with many hundreds of successful customers doing exciting IP projects.”
Being among the first to develop IP and work with early IP adopters allowed CAST to establish effective standards for the contents and quality required for a truly reusable IP package. By the late 1990’s, the company had developed a reputation for 8051 leadership that persists today, providing the smallest, fastest, easiest-to-configure 8051 IP available. That 8-bit microcontroller still has a role in modern systems, but CAST has successfully complemented it in recent years by introducing a highly-competitive 32-bit processor line from Beyond Semiconductors.
The company recently expanded into graphics processing with new graphics acceleration and display control products from Think Silicon. These work with or without system processors to handle the visual demands of mobile and other products. They join a class-leading line of proven video and image codec and encryption cores from the data compression experts at Alma Technology and graphics specialists Trilinear Technologies, and a portfolio of interfaces and peripherals from SoC Solutions, Fraunhofer IPMS, and CAST’s own development teams.
These products combined with the company’s integration knowledge and long experience working with a `diverse and active customer base equip CAST well for the next stage of IP evolution, combining multiple cores and essential software in pre-integrated and pre-verified IP subsystems and platforms. CAST has carried various SoC platforms for several years, recently announced a new Video over Internet Protocol Subsystem, and is working on more solutions to roll out over the coming year.
“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,” said Nikos Zervas, CAST’s chief operating officer. “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.”
Read more about CAST’s history and future roadmap in the company’s November 13th newsletter issue. Several congratulatory quotes from industry observers follow.
CAST, Inc. is a 20-year-old developer, integrator, and aggregator of IP cores and subsystems. The company’s royalty-free product line features 32- bit BA2x™ processors, 8051 microcontrollers, video and image compression, graphics processors, encryption, interconnects and interfaces, peripheral controllers, and more. See www.cast-inc.com for product details.
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“I’ve known and been impressed with the folks at CAST since we worked together in my previous life in EDA. As an analyst following EDA and IP, I’ve been even more impressed with the great company they’ve built and grown over the past twenty years, thriving in a market that’s seen many larger firms come and go and continuing to deliver the products and services that customers really need.”
— John Barr, Portfolio Manager at Needham Asset Management
"We want to congratulate CAST for achieving a milestone that few independent IP providers reach. We have greatly benefited from their support of Xilinx initiatives and our mutual customers since becoming a charter member of our AllianceCORE IP program back in 1997. We look forward to many more years of successful collaboration."
— Mark Bowlby, Sr. Manager, Partnerships and Ecosystem Alliances, Xilinx, Inc.
“It’s great to see that my good friends at CAST are celebrating their 20th Anniversary. Congratulations!!! CAST has been a leader in the IP world for a long time providing the highest quality products and support for their customers. It’s been a pleasure for SoC Solutions to be a partner for the past eight years. More importantly, it’s been a blast working (and playing) with Hal and his entire team. As the IP world is changing towards subsystems and more complete solutions, SoC Solutions is proud to be a part of CAST’s future. I look forward to many more years of our successful partnership. Here’s to 20 more good years.”
— Jim Bruister, President, SoC Solutions LLC
"Congratulations to CAST on reaching its 20-year anniversary milestone. Like Altera, CAST is an IP pioneer, with quality products and strong support that helped fuel the reusable IP revolution that began in 1995. We look forward to continued collaboration as the IP market further evolves."
— Alex Grbic, Director of Software, IP and DSP Product Marketing at Altera Corporation
"CAST has shown that a focus on quality and solving customer problems never goes out of style. IPextreme congratulates CAST on 20 years of making a difference in the semiconductor IP market."
— Warren Savage, President & CEO, IP Extreme, Inc.