NSITEXE, a leading semiconductor IP company based in Japan, specializes in designing and supplying semiconductor IP blocks tailored for the automobile and industrial automation sectors. Their expertise extends to Data Flow Processors (DFP) catering to applications such as autonomous driving systems, robotics, factory automation, and IoT. With a mission to combine innovation with efficiency, NSITEXE sought to enhance their design flow to meet the ever-evolving demands of their high-tech clientele.



NSITEXE faced several significant challenges that needed prompt and effective solutions:

  • Virtual Prototyping Solution: Develop a virtual prototyping solution for its DFP platform targeting autonomous vehicles and connected cars, featuring five application-specific instruction set processors (ASIPs).
  • Development Time and Cost: Reduce development time and cost for multiple ASIPs.
  • Resource Constraints: In-house processor model development from scratch was not feasible because of tight turnaround time and limited resources.


To tackle these challenges, NSITEXE turned to Synopsys' ASIP Designer, a powerful tool that facilitates the efficient design of custom processors. Here's how ASIP Designer addressed their needs:

  • Starting Point with RISC-V Models: NSITEXE utilized the RISC-V processor models provided within ASIP Designer as a foundation, allowing them to bypass the initial stages of processor development and focus on customization.
  • High-Level Specification: Using nML, a high-level language, NSITEXE defined the desired processor architecture, which ASIP Designer then translated into a comprehensive SDK, including a cycle-accurate instruction-set simulator, assembler, linker, debugger, and C/C++ compiler.
  • Custom Vector Extensions: By extending the RISC-V models with custom vector extensions, NSITEXE developed specialized processors tailored to their specific application needs.
  • SystemC Integration: ASIP Designer's ability to export the processor’s simulation model with SystemC interfaces enabled rapid setup of a virtual prototype, facilitating efficient system-level verification.


The implementation of Synopsys' ASIP Designer yielded remarkable results for NSITEXE:

  • Reduced Development Time: NSITEXE managed to develop five specialized custom processor models in half the time it would have taken to design them from scratch.
  • Efficient Use of Resources: The project was completed with a team of only two engineers, highlighting the efficiency and user-friendliness of the ASIP Designer tool.
  • Enhanced Design Quality: The use of pre-existing RISC-V ISA models and the high-level language nML allowed for high-quality, customized processor designs.
  • Successful Prototyping: The rapid setup of a virtual prototype for NSITEXE's multicore DFP facilitated early software bring-up and SoC verification, ensuring the project met all functionality and performance requirements.

By leveraging Synopsys’ ASIP Designer, NSITEXE not only achieved their project goals but also set a new standard for efficiency and innovation in semiconductor IP block design. Looking forward, NSITEXE plans to continue utilizing ASIP Designer for future projects, confident in its ability to meet their rigorous demands.