(08/23/2007 10:57 AM EDT) -- EE Times
I received a plethora of e-mails regarding my recent article, entitled "Opinion: Semi IP sector is a lost cause
Then, I asked for the IP vendors themselves to respond to a set of questions. Here's one letter to the editor:Editor,
Far from being a lost cause, the IP-licensing business is a permanent part of our industry. It's not always the sexiest part of the computer or chip-making business but it's vital nevertheless. It's part of the lubricant that keeps the wheels of progress turning.
We can more charitably compare IP (intellectual property) licensing firms to a team of architects. Architects are trained professionals who design all types of buildings, from skyscrapers to tract homes. The architects design the buildings but they don't actually swing the hammers. Instead, they sell their blueprints to developers or construction companies who do the actual building.
Likewise, IP companies design chips but leave the construction to outside experts -- the chip companies. One person can't design a skyscraper from top to bottom including all the windows, doorknobs, heating & ventilation systems, electrical connections, and plumbing. It's also pretty much impossible for one person to design an entire 10-million-transistor chip.
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