JUNE 19--Taking another shot at Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) in the digital-signal processor (DSP) market, Germany's Infineon Technologies AG has joined forces with Agere Systems Inc. and Motorola Inc. to establish a new and powerful DSP venture. The venture, dubbed StarCore LLC, is a new and independent company focused on developing and marketing DSPs. StarCore LLC consolidates the resources from the original StarCore Joint Design Center, which was founded by Agere and Motorola in 1998. The new venture also combines Infineon's Carmel DSP core design and licensing business as well.
The technology-development and licensing mission of the new company marks a significant evolution of the original StarCore Joint Design Center. In the original venture, Agere and Motorola jointly design DSP cores and chips. StarCore LLC will develop and license scalable DSP "cores," based on the established StarCore DSP architecture. The company is expected to begin operations late summer 2002, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The new company will once again attempt to compete against TI. Agere and Motorola had been competing in the DSP space with the help of the original StarCore, but the results from the previous venture were modest at best. Analog Devices, Intel, DSP Group, and others compete in the DSP market as well. The stakes are huge in the DSP market, which is expected to show a compound annual growth rate of 27% through 2006, according to Forward Concepts Co. of Tempe, AZ.
StarCore LLC will be headquartered in Austin, TX, with a subsidiary office in Tel Aviv, Israel. Initial lead customers will be Agere, Infineon, and Motorola, and StarCore LLC. "The central goal of the new StarCore is to proliferate world-class DSP core technologies through open licensing," said Thomas Lantzsch, chief executive of StarCore LLC. "Our mission and strategy contrast sharply with both traditional DSP business models based on proprietary DSP technologies and other industry collaborations that design cores for use by just one or two companies," he said.