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Fulcrum Microsystems Taps Artisan Analog/Mixed-Signal IP for High-Speed PivotPoint Switch Chips

03 June 2004

CALABASAS, Calif. & SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 3, 2004--Artisan Components, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARTI), a leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property (IP), and Fulcrum Microsystems, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company providing low-latency switch chips based on high-speed clockless circuit technology, today announced Fulcrum successfully used Artisan's Capstone(TM) analog/mixed-signal IP in its high-speed PivotPoint(TM) switch chips. The PivotPoint design, the first SPI-4.2 switch chip, delivers highly integrated gigahertz silicon that consumes less than fifty percent (50%) of the power of comparable ASICs and FPGAs.

The announcement is significant because it demonstrates integration of synchronous and asynchronous circuits in a complex, high-speed device. PivotPoint contains 30 million asynchronous transistors connected to other chips by six synchronous SPI-4.2 ports that are composed of nearly 100 pairs of LVDS interfaces, based on Artisan IP and each capable of operating up to 450 MHz. The result is a device that has the low power, low latency, and high-performance benefits of asynchronous technology but that integrates onto a board using industry-standard synchronous interfaces.

Fulcrum required easy to use, silicon-proven analog and mixed-signal IP into its advanced chipset designs. Artisan's silicon-validated IP solutions that have a proven track record for providing easy to implement analog and mixed-signal functionality into advanced IC designs met Fulcrum's requirements. Fulcrum selected Artisan's analog PLLs (phase-locked loops), LVDS specialty and general-purpose I/Os for TSMC's 0.13-micron process.

"Working with providers that enable us to reduce time to market and silicon risks is paramount to our continued success," said Mike Zeile, vice president of marketing for Fulcrum Microsystems. "Artisan's high quality, process-optimized IP easily integrated into our complex asynchronous designs in less time than expected and we achieved first-pass silicon to meet time to market requirements."

"Integrating Artisan's silicon-proven Capstone analog/mixed signal IP gives customers like Fulcrum the confidence to focus their resources on the differentiating aspects of their design," said Callan Carpenter, vice president and general manager of Artisan's Analog/Mixed Signal Business Unit. "The outstanding performance achieved by Fulcrum through their innovative clockless technology illustrates this point nicely."

About Fulcrum Microsystems

Fulcrum Microsystems, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company. Building on research from California Institute of Technology, Fulcrum is developing a series of standards-based chips leveraging its patented high-performance, low-power "clockless" semiconductor design methodology. More information can be found at www.fulcrummicro.com.

About Artisan Components

Artisan Components, Inc. is a leading provider of physical intellectual property (IP) components for the design and manufacture of complex system-on-a-chip integrated circuits. Artisan's products include embedded memory, standard cell, input/output, analog and mixed-signal components, which are designed to achieve the best combination of performance, density, power and yield for a given manufacturing process. Artisan has licensed its IP components to over 1,200 companies involved in integrated circuit design. Artisan is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. More information about Artisan Components, including free library access, can be found at access.arm.com.

Artisan Components and Artisan are registered trademarks of Artisan Components, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.