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DSP Valley already attracts four major investments in first half of 2001
In the first half of 2001, the highly specialized competencies and expertise in fabless design of DSP systems, available within the research organizations and industrial companies in DSP Valley, already attracted four investments. Investments were made by Resonext Communications, Wind Rivers Systems, Agilent Technologies and Philips Semiconductors.
In February, Resonext Communications finalized an agreement with Leuven headquartered IMEC, the leading European independent research center focused on the development and licensing of microelectronics, information and communications technologies. Under the terms of this partnership, Resonext will license IMEC's OFDM modem technology, which is the de-facto modulation technique for the upcoming broadband wireless Local Area Network (LAN) standards like IEEE 802.11a and ETSI HiperLan2.
Resonext will work with IMEC to bring a commercially viable solution to the market. The combination of Resonext's expertise in CMOS-RF with IMEC's proven core competencies in OFDM, DSP and system-level design might lead to the development of highly integrated and cost-effective solutions for tomorrow's high-speed wireless networks.
Under the terms of the partnership, Resonext Communications also opened a Design Center in Leuven, Belgium to maximize the collaboration and interaction with IMEC.
In April, Wind River Systems, a leading provider of software and services for connected smart devices, purchased the embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) and development tools for digital signal processors (DSPs), currently known as Virtuoso?, from Eonic Systems in Flanders, Belgium, a developer of high-performance software solutions for real-time embedded DSP applications. This software acquisition will leverage the Wind River software, services, and partner capabilities into systems comprising central processing units (CPUs) and DSPs.
As part of the agreement, key Eonic employees associated with the product family currently known as Virtuoso will join Wind River. They will continue to be based in Aarschot (Flanders, Belgium), an area known as DSP Valley because of the high concentration of DSP related skills and expertise there. Interfacing with the more than 1800 DSP systems design experts in DSP Valley, they will establish a Wind River competence center for DSP applications.
Through this acquisition of technology and expertise, Wind River is uniquely positioned to provide every type of embedded software developer - regardless of the type of programmable silicon building block used - reduced instruction set computers and complex instruction set computers (RISCs / CISCs), DSPs, and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) - the tools they need in this challenging market.
In May, Agilent Technologies signed an agreement to acquire all of the issued share capital of Sirius Communications, a leading developer of CDMA application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for the 3G wireless and satellite communications market.
Sirius, founded in 1996, is a privately held fabless semiconductor company. It develops code division multiple access (CDMA) and W-CDMA baseband ASIC technology. Sirius is headquartered near Leuven, Belgium - the area known as DSP Valley, where more than 1800 highly qualified DSP design engineers constitute a high concentration of DSP related skills and expertise, in applications like communication technologies, digital image processing and digital sound processing.
The acquisition of the issued share capital of Sirius, which currently has 19 employees, will provide Agilent with engineering talent and intellectual property, including several patents. The company focuses on developing high-performance, low-power, and highly flexible standards-based CDMA and GPS IP physical modem layer silicon solutions, peripherals and development tools. It designs highly specialized software-programmable telecom chips for use in cellular, non-cellular and satellite communications. Adding Sirius' solutions is expected to give Agilent a broad and flexible set of 3G solutions for wireless, hybrid personal digital assistant (PDA) and mobile information appliance manufacturers.
Finally, in June, Philips Semiconductors, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, and Frontier Design, announced the formation of a new company called ADELANTE TECHNOLOGIES. Combining Philips Semiconductors' expertise in embedded DSP architectures with Frontier Design's DSP-oriented EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools and applications knowledge, ADELANTE TECHNOLOGIES will meet market demand for embedded open-system architectures on which next generation wireless and personal multimedia products can be built.
ADELANTE TECHNOLOGIES will carry out three types of activity. First, it will develop a family of DSP cores and associated hardware and software IP. Second, it will provide software, tools, and design methodologies for embedded DSP solutions. Third, it will provide design services to facilitate rapid integration of the DSP IP into customers' System-on-Chip solutions. The new company will employ 35 people from Philips Semiconductors' existing Embedded Processors Department (EPD), together with all (50) Frontier Design's personnel. The management team of ADELANTE TECHNOLOGIES will comprise senior individuals from both Philips Semiconductors and Frontier Design.
ADELANTE TECHNOLOGIES is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium - the area known as DSP Valley because of the high concentration of DSP related skills and expertise. With the availability of more than 1800 experts in design of DSP systems and DSP applications, and with world class research in system level design methodologies at IMEC, at the University of Leuven and their spin-off companies, DSP Valley was the straightforward choice for ADELANTE TECHNOLOGIES' headquarters.