For those customers seeking to license MIPS technologies, Yassaie said
they will go through Imagination, not the consortium. The 498 MIPS
patents bought by ARM-led consortium provide the group with general
patent protection rather than access to specific parts of the MIPS
architecture, he added.
ARM and others in the consortium are
hoping that the deal will reduce the risk of infringing any MIPS
patents. The consortium will make available licenses to the patent
portfolio to companies outside the consortium, ARM said.
"ARM is a
leading participant in this consortium, which presents an opportunity
for companies to neutralize any potential infringement risk from these
patents in the further development of advanced embedded technology," ARM
CEO Warren East said in a statement. "Litigation is expensive and time
consuming and, in this case, a collective approach with other major
industry players was the best way to remove that risk."
Clearly the market values the MIPS patents more than the products.
I am guessing on-going patent royalties from Broadcom, Cavium and all other licensees will go to ARM/Bridge group, not Imagination.
I wonder if Imagination will continue its own fledgling CPU architecture and MIPS or kill one of the two.
Clearly the merger gives ARM a little more competition as the game increasingly shifts to supplying a full suite of SoC blocks.
Imagination will gain leverage selling graphics and other cores into set-tops where MIPS is strong and Imagination could help MIPS gain more traction in mobile.
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.