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I'm reading the Spartan 6 user guides, specifically the Memory Controller Block guide. I quote the introduction:

The Memory Controller Block (MCB) is a dedicated embedded block multi-port memory controller that greatly simplifies the task of interfacing Spartan-6 devices to the most popular memory standards. The MCB provides significantly higher performance, reduced power consumption, and faster development times than equivalent IP implementations.

I don't know what 'IP' stands for in "IP implementation". Both "intellectual property implementations" and "internet protocol implementations" don't make sense in this context.

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    \$\begingroup\$ YOur 1st answer was right. In case you haven't figured it out yet. Xilinx makes really expensive solutions and you pay for the licensed IP bricks of code for special functions. They call them bricks. (of gold) It's their IP revenue. logicbricks.com/Products/logiMEM_arb.aspx If that makes perfect sense, score accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart EE75 Apr 17 '12 at 14:20
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In this case, it's intellectual property. When you design something in an FPGA, that design is considered intellectual property. So the term IP is just used generically for any kind of 'firmware' you write into an FPGA. In this case, you could either design (or buy) an IP implementation, of use their hardware one.

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I've often seen FPGA designs referred to as Intellectual Property. Probable reason: an FPGA design often is the major part of a design, representing lots of working hours, and getting hold of the code may allow you to copy it.
A problem with many FPGAs is that the design is indeed easy to copy. Boot Flash connects through a serial connection to the FPGA, and copying the design is as easy as placing a data logger on the connection. Today some FPGAs have their boot Flash integrated.

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