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."
According to Imagination, that is NOT the case. I will be posting a follow-up anaysis piece shortly. But in a nut shell, Imagination CEO made it very clear during the conference call that his company will move the MIPS architecture "go forward."
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.