EETimes (10/28/2013 08:30 AM EDT)
Last week saw an interesting shift in programmable SoC devices, especially in licensing IP.
XMOS Semiconductor signed a deal last Thursday, Oct. 24, to use ARM-based chips from Silicon Labs alongside its own deterministic multicore silicon in a single package. Part of this is an acknowledgement of the strength of the ARM ecosystem of software, despite XMOS giving away tools and software IP for its programmable I/O interfaces.
It's a very interesting move. It gives XMOS an ARM M3 core with ultra-low-power states as well as a whole bunch of commodity interface IP such as I2C and USB, which is very useful in its target market.
Now the shift is that XMOS has taken an ARM license, even though at this point it is not designing with the core. This is starting to sound like the Microsoft licensing model. To get a license for a Microsoft desktop operating system, you had to agree to pay a royalty on every PC shipped, whether it shipped with that operating system or not.
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