A license to use an IP core or “IP core license” is a legal agreement codifying the terms and conditions of how the IP core can be used. The basic elements of this license agreement for FPGA usage are that it
- Applies to a specific instantiation of the IP core, i.e., a single netlist.
- Must be targeted to a unique FPGA device type with a specific product reference number.
- Can be used only used in conjunction with unique netlist associated with an FPGA device type.
- Specifies the time-frame of any download, support, and releases options that are available.
Within these constraints
- The IP core may be deployed anywhere in any number of physical instances, including those sold to OEMs.
- A single design license is perpetual in that it is assoicated with particular end product, so the IP license is good as long as that product is being designed and/or produced.
- Any number of designers can be working with the IP core at multiple sites corresponding to a single business entity, but they all must be working on the same same single design.
Licenses for ASIC devices or source code must be created individually.