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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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Using Outside IP

One of the quickest ways to design a new chip is to not design it at all. Most big new chips include a fair amount of reused, borrowed, licensed, or recycled circuitry; not physically recycled silicon, of course, but recycled design ideas. Like a musician composing new variations on an old theme, it's often better to borrow and adapt than to create from scratch.

In engineering circles this is called design reuse or intellectual property (IP) reuse. IP is a high-sounding name for intangible assets that can be sold, borrowed, or traded. Lawyers use IP to refer to trademarks, logos, musical compositions, software, or nearly anything else that's valuable but insubstantial. Engineers use IP to refer to circuit designs.

Since the mid-1990s ...

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