Jonah Probell EE Times (05/26/2009 6:03 PM EDT)
Thanks for an excellent deep dig on the IP business with your report on MIPS-Chipidea (Analysis: Dissecting the MIPS-Chipidea breakup). However, several interesting facts related to the IP licensing market were omitted, all of which are critical to understanding the evolution of the industry segment and the key players in the sector. These factors include the following: 1.
Digital soft core IP can by synthesized for any fab process technology, making one development effort applicable to hundreds of chip designs. Also, analog IP must be redesigned for every fab and every process, making each development applicable to just a small handful of chips at best.
This explains why, after Lexra sparked the soft core processor IP business in 1997and 1998, MIPS spun out from Silicon Graphics and ARM switched from exclusively licensing hard cores to also licensing soft cores and saw its customer base grow remarkably.
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