As more functionality converges onto a single device, it naturally leads to an increasingly large number of IP blocks on a chip. Before you consider developing or buying IP, remember not all IP is created equally and securing high-quality IP is imperative to getting your end design to market on time and on budget. This paper will explore three important determinants of IP quality:

(1) Functional Correctness—Extensive configurability of digital IP for standards interfaces and how an IP vendor verifies across a very large number of configurations is an excellent indicator of how the IP will function within your system.

(2) Interoperability—This is probably the single most important criteria for IP. Often this is mistakenly equated with compliance, which is required but not sufficient on its own.

(3) Ease of Integration—This is directly related to time-to-market. IP that is difficult to integrate will lead to schedule risk and increased cost of the SoC design.