Phoenix Technologies Ltd is continuing to see the fruits of last year’s Virtual Chips Inc acquisition (CI No 2,959), and has just signed a licensing agreement with the Hand-held Computing Group of Philips Semiconductor Inc for two of Virtual’s products. The deal covers the company’s Universal Serial Bus and Fast Infrared synthesizable cores, instruction modules which form the basis of an ASIC application specific integrated circuit. Phoenix, the Santa Clara, California-based personal computer ROM BIOS company, says that by licensing these cores a company such as Philips can dramatically speed up its development of new products and time to market. The cores simply ‘drop in’ to add the particular functionality, Universal Serial Bus or Fast Infrared, to a new chipset. It looks like Philips will use the cores in a new range of Windows CE-based hand-held devices, which it may also license to third parties. Phoenix says it has a number of other major licensees, some of which prefer not to be named, but Intel Corp recently licensed its 66MHz PCI Peripheral Connect Interface for use in its 64-bit network products such as high-bandwidth, 1 gigabit network appliances. In April, Phoenix also announced an AGP Accelerated Graphics Port synthesizable core, which it has licensed to Fujitsu Ltd.
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