ColdFire Architecture Continues to Blaze New Territory in Processor Licensing Models

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Four years since introducing the ColdFire architecture to the semiconductor IP market, IPextreme has licensed V1, V2, and V4 implementations of the ColdFire architecture to over 100 users.

Four years since introducing the ColdFire architecture to the semiconductor IP market, IPextreme has licensed V1, V2, and V4 implementations of the ColdFire architecture to over 100 users. Devices and systems built around ColdFire architecture IP solutions are already widely deployed and others are heading for production. Designers increasingly see the ColdFire architecture as the preferred 32-bit processor solution for new designs, allowing them the flexibility to choose from advanced ASSP devices from Freescale Semiconductor or to license the identical ColdFire processor and subsystem IP for implementation in their own ASICs and FPGAs.

“ColdFire processor cores continue to be a tremendous success story for us,” said Warren Savage, president and CEO of IPextreme. “Customers have long loved the architecture and now love the breadth of options available for them to incorporate ColdFire processors into their own designs.”

The cost/performance profile of the V1 ColdFire Core makes it a popular choice for both prototyping and production. Customers can choose from a variety of V1 ColdFire processor product packages, including a configurable Verilog source code product and a non-configurable, encrypted Verilog product, which can be purchased directly from IPextreme’s Core Store™.

"We are very pleased to incorporate the ColdFire architecture into our Remote Server Management family design. Easy adoption and stability were the key reasons why we choose the ColdFire architecture," said Chris Lin, president of ASPEED Technology. "Not only are quality and reliability key to all products embedded in ASPEED SoCs, but the ColdFire processor’s compact design also provides our customers with the flexibility to add extra features they might need, without compromising ASPEED BMC performance.”

IPextreme also offers a free version of the V1 ColdFire core for use in Altera Cyclone™ III FPGAs.

“We are pleased to have IPextreme part of the Altera Embedded Alliance,” said Chris Balough, senior director of product marketing, embedded processing at Altera. “Our relationship with IPextreme supports our embedded initiative and enables Altera to deliver the ColdFire processor architecture to FPGA users.”

The V1 ColdFire Core is also Tabula’s 32-bit processor of choice for its ABAX™ family of 3D Programmable Logic Devices.

“We chose the ColdFire processor for its high performance, compact size, rich ecosystem, and standard AMBA™ system bus for connection of on-chip peripherals,” said Alain Bismuth, vice president of marketing at Tabula, Inc. “And, since the same ColdFire IP cores have been deployed for many years in millions of Freescale Semiconductor devices and in general licensing by IPextreme for several years now, we consider the ColdFire processor to be an excellent solution for our customers.”

All of IPextreme’s ColdFire architecture IP products feature the same IP proven in high-volume devices from Freescale Semiconductor. For the higher-performance V2 and V4 ColdFire architectures, customers often choose one of IPextreme’s subsystem solutions, which include the respective ColdFire processor cores plus AMBA bus fabric and subsystem peripheral IP from Freescale’s Standard Product Platform (SPP).

“The success IPextreme has seen in the licensing of ColdFire IP cores to companies all over the world is testimony to the enduring popularity of the ColdFire architecture,” said Jeff Bock, director of marketing: industrial and multi-market MCUs at Freescale Semiconductor. “We’re pleased with the value that IPextreme has brought to the ColdFire story in making the technology so broadly available.”

The ColdFire ecosystem has already adapted to the availability of ColdFire architecture IP products. Version 10 of Freescale’s CodeWarrior Development Studio has built-in support for ColdFire IP targets. And for a complete hardware+software platform solution, IPextreme and Embedded Access, Inc. have partnered to create a version of the MQX RTOS that targets a custom combination of the V4 ColdFire processor and subsystem IP.

“The MQX platform supports the entire ColdFire family of processors and has been used by thousands of users worldwide for a great variety of applications. The platform includes an RTOS, TCP/IP stack, file system, and USB stacks, making it a perfect fit for just about any ColdFire processor based design. Leveraging our close partnership with IPextreme, Embedded Access can provide a full software platform specific for your chosen processor core and peripheral set, delivered in full source code,” said Doug Bruce, vice president of Embedded Access.

And it seems that the sky is not the limit.

"NASA is evaluating the V1 ColdFire Core for possible space flight applications. Our evaluation to date has been favorable and we plan to go forward with building the SoC application," said Robyn King, design engineer at NASA.

For more information about the ColdFire cores or to obtain a license for the V1, V2, or V4 ColdFire cores from IPextreme, visit the IPextreme website at, or send an email to info(at)ip-extreme(dot)com.

About IPextreme, Inc.

IPextreme packages, delivers, and supports production-proven IP designed by large semiconductor companies and used by SoC designers worldwide. These production-proven IP products serve both broad horizontal markets and specific verticals such as consumer and automotive, and are provided in a process-independent and EDA-neutral format for easy use by the widest range of customers. IPextreme’s ColdFire processor, Power Architecture, and HCS08 IP products are all production-proven in high-volume devices from Freescale Semiconductor. IPextreme has offices in Campbell, California; Munich, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan with representatives in China, India, Israel, Korea, and Taiwan. For additional information, please visit

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Warren Savage
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