LONDON Configurable processor cores and subsystems developer ARC International has signed one of its most high profile and potentially lucrative deals with a multi-year, royalty bearing licensing agreement with Intel Corporation.
Terms of the licensing and royalties arrangement were not disclosed.
The licensing agreement covers several ARC products and the company says it brings to Intel's system-on-chip (SoC) developers the ability to reduce power consumption and increase a chipset's performance by adding custom instruction extensions.
As part of the deal, ARC (St Albans, England) will provide support and training to Intel development centers in North America.
Carl Schlachte, president and CEO of ARC International, termed the deal "a landmark announcement" for the company.
"We have had a long standing relationship with Intel for a while and they use our IP in some wireless networking chips, but this is a completely new and very exciting deal between us", Schlachte told EE Times Europe .
Analysts reacted favourably to the deal. Dan Ridsdale, analyst at Landsbanki in London, said the deal is significant because "it is likely to involve significantly improved royalty terms without the volume breaks or caps, which up until now has so stymied royalty progression."
Ridsdale added he would not rule out broader adoption into Intel's processor architectures in the longer term since "ARC's configurable multicore philiosphy is well aligned with Intel's multi processor strategy."
Mark Davis at Panmure Gordon & Co suggested the "significant endorsement" from Intel will have a marked impact on royalties in the long term and estimated could be another $5 million to $10 million deal for ARC, albeit spread over manay years.
Jim McGregor, In-Stat's principal analyst and research director for enabling technologies, said: "Intel is renowned for driving the direction of technology through the development of leading-edge semiconductors and platform solutions. By combining ARC processor-based wireless broadband solutions with low-power X86 processors, Intel is underscoring its commitment to achieving flexible and power-efficient solutions through heterogeneous multi-core platforms."
The license is expected to play a significant role in Intelís plans to become a major supplier of silicon for wireless broadband applications, notably mobile WiMAX.
In-Stat predicts that the rapid adoption of this technology could lead to close to 480 million mobile devices shipping in personal and professional applications by 2010, including mobile PCs, mobile Internet devices, ultra mobile PCs, portable media players and digital handsets.