CAST, Inc.


CAST provides digital semiconductor intellectual property cores and subsystems. Our proven, high-value IP line includes:


  • low-power, high-performance processors and microcontrollers;
  • hardware compression and decompression for video, images, and data; and
  • popular interconnects, peripherals, and encryption cores.


CAST customers benefit from the rigorous product development and packaging standards we’ve developed over nearly 25 years of operation, and from our equally refined IP business and licensing practices. Our sales, support, and engineering staff has helped hundreds of customers—from unknown start-ups to the world’s most recognized IDMs—successfully develop and ship millions of product units.


Highlights in our diverse product line include GZIP cores fast enough for firmware decompression; the most production-ready CAN FD controller available; one of the first SHA-3 encryption cores; 32-bit processors with the greatest code density in the industry; and the oldest yet most modern family of 8051-compatible microcontrollers.


IP Integration

Decrease time to market while improving design quality with CAST’s IP integration services. We can combine any of the cores we offer with other IP, PHYs, drivers, and more to deliver complete systems or subsystems optimized to your specific requirements.


We also provide complete, pre-integrated AMBA-based systems and subsystems ready for customization and deployment.

IP Cores

Microcontrollers and Processors

Drive embedded and IoT systems, sensor subsystems, and more with compact, low-power, 32-bit BA2x™ Family processors or small, versatile, 8051-compatible microcontrollers.


The BA2 instruction set enables great code density, significantly reducing the size of the memory devices needed for these processors. The BA2x processor family includes features that help differentiate your products from everyone else’s—like an ultra-low-power PipelineZero™ architecture—while class-leading performance and area specs ensure competitive results.


Various preconfigured BA2 processors bundle features and peripherals to target deeply embedded systems through application processors running Android or Linux. All include the BeyondStudio™ IDE for quick programming, and reference designs, evaluation systems, and integration services are available.


The 8051s from CAST offer small size, easy integration and programming, and relatively fast performance. Whether to run simple applications or to offload a main processor in larger SoCs, these soft MCS®51-compatible cores are among the most feature-rich and customer-proven available anywhere.


They offer configurable CPUs and bundled peripherals, 8-bit area and power savings, easy development and test, proven reliability, and royalty-free value.

Video and Image Compression

The Video and Image Compression IP family provides a range of hardware encoders and decoders for JPEG, AVC/H.264, and HEVC/H.265 video. They offer:


  • Scalable performance, supporting resolutions beyond Ultra-High Definition (UHD) and/or ultra-high frame rates.
  • Extremely small silicon footprints, enabling low-power and economical implementations in FPGAs and ASICs.
  • Excellent video quality, even for ultra-low-latency, and/or low-bit-rate video streaming.


Each encoder and decoder satisfies particular needs for performance, power consumption, and silicon area, and offers smart trade-offs of compression degree and quality. Included are:


JPEG and Motion JPEG Encoders and Decoders, in Baseline and Extended (12-bit) variations, offering an economical yet high-quality alternative for moderate levels of video compression,


H.264/AVC Video Encoders and Decoders, supporting different profiles and featuring the lowest power consumption and smallest silicon area compared to competitive cores, and


An H.265/HEVC Decoder with versatile support for multiple profiles and video system characteristics.


CAST is one of the longest-running providers of image and video compression IP cores, with hundreds of successful customers shipping millions of media products, beginning in 1998.

Data Compression

The ZipAccel™ Cores enable hardware lossless data compression that is unmatched in performance, low energy consumption, flexibility, and ease of integration and use.


The ZipAccel-C Compression Core implements a lossless data compression engine that complies with the Deflate, GZIP, and ZLIB compression standards. The ZipAccel-D Decompression Core implements decompression for the same standards. A ZipAccel-C Reference Design Board offers is ready for evaluation or initial system design.


The ZipAccel-C Compression Core’s flexible architecture enables fine-tuning of its efficiency, throughput, and latency to match application requirements. Throughputs over 100 Gbps are feasible even in low-cost FPGAs; latency can be as small as a few tens of clock cycles.


The ZipAccel-D Decompression Core features fast processing, with low latency and high throughput. On average the core outputs three bytes of decompressed data per clock cycle, providing over 15Gbps in a typical 40nm technology. Designers can scale the throughput further by instantiating the core multiple times to achieve throughput rates exceeding 100Gbps. The latency is in the order of few tens of clock cycles for blocks coded with static Huffman tables, and typically less than 2,000 cycles for blocks encoded with dynamic Huffman tables.


Interconnects and Interfaces

Readily implement standard interfaces for automotive, avionics, industrial, and other applications.


The Automotive Bus IP cores from CAST feature the most production-proven CAN 2.0/FD controller available anywhere. It is backed with verification IP (VIP) and a ready-to-run hardware reference design board.


Automotive Bus cores also include a LIN master/slave controller, SENT/SAE J2716 transmitter/receiver controller for sensor connections, and an IEEE 802.1AS Hardware Protocol Stack for time-sensitive networking via Automotive Ethernet.


For Avionics applications, we offer DO-254 compliant bus controllers for:

  • MIL-STD 1553
  • ARINC 429
  • ARINC 825 CAN


Additional interconnect cores include I2C & SMBUS, PCI, and SDLC/HDLC data links.


Network your system with an Ethernet MAC Controller or numerous lighter-weight network stack cores (see the Peripherals section).


We also feature one of the broadest, most useful ranges of SPI-based, AMBA-compatible memory and data interface cores, including:


  • Octal SPI with XIP for AHB
  • Quad SPI with XIP for AHB and AXI
  • Single SPI Master/Slave, and
  • an SPI to AHB-Lite Bridge.

Peripherals, Controllers, and Security

Build complete systems quicker by easily integrating memories, peripherals, and networking stacks into SoCs. Secure those systems with a choice of hardware encryption/decryption engines.


Implement highly-efficient hardware networking stacks for UDPIP, RTP, and MPEG Transport Encapsulation.


Build in controllers for displays and devices like smart card readers, legacy DMAs and UARTs, and memories.


Memory controllers include Parallel NOR Flash and SPI-based flash controllers with octal or quad interfaces, with execute in place (XIP) capabilities.


Also select from a variety of AMBA Bus compatible peripheral cores, for use in CAST subsystems, or in your own SoC. These include:


  • AHB Multi-matrix Bus Infrastructure
  • AXI Multi-layer Bus Infrastructure
  • AXI-APB Bridge
  • AXI-AHB Bridge
  • AHB DMA, Single-Channel
  • AHB DMA, Quad-Channel
  • AHB Cache Controller
  • SPI to AHB-Lite Bridge


Encryption cores include the latest SHA-3 algorithm, as well as older hash functions, AES, and DES.

AMBA System Infrastructure and Functions

Our IP Subystems provide the quickest path from your creative product idea to a competitive working system.

These RTL Subsystems are designed with the total system in mind. They combine an AMBA™ bus infrastructure with typical peripheral, interface, and memory controller cores and essential drivers and software, all in a system-level verification environment that emulates the software and hardware together.

Drop in your choice of processor core and memory devices, develop your application software, test the working system, and you’re ready to produce an FPGA or ASIC with little risk in a remarkably short time.


Integrated and verified choices include:


AHB-LP Low-Power AHB Subsystem — An AMBA® 3.0 compliant hardware/software system ready for deploying ultra-low-power applications using processors such as the BA22-DE, BA22-CE, or ARM Cortex-M0.


AHB-PLP Performance/Low-Power AHB Subsystem — An AMBA® 3.0 compliant hardware/software system ready for any BA2x or ARM Cortex-M3/M4 equivalent processor. Suitable for industrial controllers, audio devices, motor control, wireless IoT and M2M devices that need both low power and performance.


AXI-CP Custom Performance AXI Subsystem — An AMBA® 4.0 compliant, AXI Multi-layer bus hardware/software system ready for deploying complex applications using processors such as BA2x or ARM Cortex-A5 class processors.