VeriSilicon, China's largest chip IP vendor, opens new R&D center focusing on chiplet

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: Pixabay

VeriSilicon, a major player in China's RISC-V ecosystem and also the country's largest chip design IP vendor, has on August 18 inaugerated its new R&D center in Shanghai. focusing on chiplet technology, autopilot software platform and IoT software platform. The company estimates its new R&D center - costing CNY130 million, to reach 500 employees within five years, with more than 90% of them being R&D personnel.

Apart from the site in Shanghai, VeriSilicon also operates seven other R&D centers, with two in Silicon Valley and Dallas, Texas, respectively.

In the first half of 2023, VeriSilicon's R&D expenditure reached CNY442 million, accounting for 37.32% of total revenue, compared to a R&D expenditure of CNY412 million, accounting for 34% of revenue, in the same period last year. Chiplet technology, according to VeriSilicon, is an integral part of the company's development strategy. Central to VeriSilicon's chiplet strategy are the concepts of "IP as a Chiplet" and "Chiplet as a Platform", driven by end applications in smart mobility and data center sectors.

As estimated by the Design IP Report released by IPnest in April 2023, VeriSilicon is the world's seventh largest chip IP vendor in terms of sales, and also the largest in China. Between 2021 and 2022, the company saw its design IP revenue grew 22.1%, from US$1.09 billion to US$1.34 billion.

Calling its model "Silicon Platform as a Service", the Shanghai-based company offers six types of in-house processor IPs including those for GPU, DSP, ISP, Neural Processing Unit (NPU), Vision Processing Unit (VPU), and Display Processor. It also offers more than 1,400 analog and mixed-signal IPs, in addition to RF IPs.

Overall, from January to June 2023, VeriSilicon's revenue was CNY1.18 billion, decreasing 2.37% compared to the same period last year. Among these, its silicon IP licensing business (including licensing fees and royalty fees) experienced a year-on-year decline of 10.65%, while the one-stop chip customization business grew by 1.70%. However, VeriSilicon attributed the changes to the scheduling of customer project initiations.

VeriSilicon indicated that IP revenue from GPU, NPU, and video processor constitutes a significant portion, collectively accounting for nearly 80% of the company's IP licensing revenue in the upper half of 2023. In the same period, data center accounted for 35.3% of VeriSilicon IP sales, while the automotive sector and IoT took up 7.2% and 7.1%, respectively. When it comes to VeriSilicon's one-stop chip customization business in first-half 2023, 62.22% of it came from IoT, while automotive and data center accounted for 5.15% and 4.66%, respectively.

Notably, VeriSilicon pointed out its capability to design chips down to 5nm (FinFET) and at 28/22nm nodes based on FD-SOI technology. As indicated by its semi-annual report, VeriSilicon's chip design revenue was dominated by processes at or below the 28nm node, accounting for 82.18% of the total, with the revenue from processes at or below the 14nm accounting for 52.28%.