NXP Software is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NXP Semiconductors NV
(Eindhoven, The Netherlands) best known as a vendor of high-performance
mixed-signal ICs for RF, analog, power management and security
While it can be seen that the legacy of NXP
Software goes back to the glory days of Philips as a leader in consumer
multimedia it does seem to sit slightly at odds with the main thrust of
NXP's much-reorganized chip business. The chip business has steadily
withdrawn from large parts of the consumer electronics business where
margins had become thin.
You may remember that in 2008 NXP
transferred its mobile ICs business to what has become the ST-Ericsson
NV subsidiary of STMicrolectronics NV. And in 2010 NXP announced it
would exchange its television and set-top-box IC businesses for a 60
percent stake in Trident Microsystems. NXP eventually wrote down the
value of its holding from a book value of $18 million at the end of the
third quarter of 2011 to zero at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011.
At the end of 2010 NXP sold of its Sound Solutions business to
the Knowles Elecronics subsidiary of Dover Corp. for $855 million. Sound
Solutions is a manufacturer of speakers and microphones for cell phones
and other consumer electronics. All together this was a significant
down-sizing and turning away from consumer electronics.
So it can
be seen that NXP Software drives in a slightly different direction to
NXP Semiconductors. Is that why NXP Software now basks in the glory of
its own website www.nxpsoftware.com?
it doesn't explain why explicit mention of NXP Software was omitted
from an NXP Semiconductors company presentation from July 2012. Does it
make sense for these two entities to go forward together or could
another sell-off make sense?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.