Qualcomm buys Rapid Bridge assets
Qualcomm Inc. has agreed to acquire all assets of Rapid Bridge LLC. Rapid Bridge invented a technique of putting down IP cores that enables configurability in just a few metal layers. The purchase price has not been disclosed.
Rapid Bridge’s LiquidCell is a library consisting of a metal-programmable sea-of-transistors that can be configured into millions of usable elements supporting more than 160 functions from the 750 standard cells. The metal programmability allows designers to iterate designs, produce derivatives and meet industry-standard specifications through respins that only involve a few metal layers.
Rapid Bridge has claimed that LiquidCell can be used to lower both static and dynamic power consumption by 20 to 40 percent and reduces cell count and corresponding die area by 25 to 35 percent. The company has said that while other companies offer libraries with similar easy-change propositions they come with penalties—rather than benefits—in terms of power consumption and performance.
Qualcomm believes the Rapid Bridge technology reduces complexity in IC development at advanced technology nodes to enable greater design flexibility and optimized die size and power consumption.
Rapid Bridge’s San Diego design team and San Diego/Bangalore engineering services operations will be integrated into Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. The asset acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval and fulfillment of certain terms and conditions, is expected to close by the end of fiscal year 2011.