Cores are the latest trend in chips. That, at least, is the message from Phoenix Technologies, which took over a company called Virtual Chips last week.
Virtual makes synthesisable cores - the basic building blocks for the design of chips used in computer and communications products.
But cores are not confined to either Virtual or Phoenix. Since the Phoenix announcement, IBM, Motorola and VLSI decided to license what they describe as CPU cores.
The cores will be used by Mitsubishi Electric PC Division - until recently known as Apricot - to make Power PCs.
It had long been rumoured that it was in the coming, but the Japanese company has now confirmed that it will integrate cores into its hardware.
Phoenix, which had largely been subsumed after it lost its pole position as a Bios supplier, hopes to persuade major companies such as Sony, SGI, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Sun, Texas Instruments, NEC and Oki to use its re-useable cores.
Raj Raghavan, CEO of Virtual Chips, said: 'For the first time, intelligent device suppliers will have access to our system software. This will shorten design and verification.'
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