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Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors

Wild cards
5/15/2012 12:01 PM EDT
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DMcCunney
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re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
DMcCunney   5/15/2012 8:23:13 PM
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The converse question to "Who might buy MIPS?" is "Why should MIPS want to sell?" I think the answer is probably obvious. Size matters, and MIPS feels it needs to be part of a bigger, better heeled company to survive and compete long-term in the CPU/GPU market. And it isn't clear that ARM has won the war. The current war I see is all about power efficiency, and ARM is poised to make inroads into the server market because ARM cores use less power than Intel. It's even more vital in the mobile device market, where the scarce resource is battery charge, and you win by being able to work longer without needing to recharge. I think a lot will hinge on just how good the newly announced MIPS designs are. If they are as power efficient as claimed, they'll get a lot of interest. And while I don't expect it would happen, I know a company that might find MIPS a worthwhile acquisition: Intel. Intel has little penetration in the mobile device market, and the Atom processor hasn't really been able to compete with ARM. Intel might find it worthwhile to add MIPS both for the patent portfolio and the opportunity to better compete with ARM in the mobile market. They can certainly afford the price. Intel used to license ARM IP, and had its own line of StrongARM processors, before selling it to Freescale in a reorganization. If they bought MIPS, they wouldn't be licensing someone else's technology. It would be theirs, because they bought it. And Intel has the fabs and the process technology to manufacture MIPS based chips in any form desired. I don't expect it to occur for corporate ego reasons - it would be an implicit admission Intel has been unable to compete with X86 based designs in the mobile space, and had to acquire different technology they didn't create to do so. But it might make sense for them to do so.

ThursonFarlongIII
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re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
ThursonFarlongIII   5/15/2012 8:04:14 PM
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Microchip could be interested. MIPS could add another revenue stream, and they are expanding rapidly. They also sell some nicely integrated Mips based micros.

junko.yoshida
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re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
junko.yoshida   5/15/2012 7:39:54 PM
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Hi, Moronda. ARM may have won the war, as you say, but I wouldn't discount MIPS patents so quickly. I wouldn't discount Sandeep so quickly either. Much of the difficulties MIPS had gone through are due to what happened even before Sandeep arrived at MIPS. Lastly, I wouldn't want any company to go down the toilet. Every company, and every engineer on the team, deserves to do its/his best and eventually succeed.

moronda
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re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
moronda   5/15/2012 4:36:08 PM
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Take a look at MIPS financials. That says it all. During an era with explosive growth in smartphones and tablets, MIPS revenue has been flat. ARM revenue grew more in one year than the complete size of MIPS. 2011 2010 2009 MIPS 82M 71M 70M ARM 764M 636M 492M I'd say the war has been lost along with the battle. It is a complete domination. Also, what good are MIPS patents really? Have the MIPS patents in any way prevented ARM from being successful? No. What I like to talk about is CEO FAIL. These CEOs never get held accountable for total failure. Sandeep, what were you thinking when you joined MIPS? Was it just your overriding desire to obtain the ultimate title of CEO? Maybe if it gets bought though, it isn't a fail. It gets to be spun as a success. I took over MIPS and led it to a successful acquisition. I hope nobody buys it. Why buy it? Just flush it down the toilet where it belongs. Not every company deserves to be or should be bought.

rick merritt
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re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
rick merritt   5/15/2012 4:15:40 PM
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I think China could create a new entity to drive the MIPS core forward, even as it did with C*Core to drive the Moto M*Core

rick merritt
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Author
re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
rick merritt   5/15/2012 4:14:46 PM
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My current thought is the best deal for MIPS is to sell its patent portfolio while retaining rights to it as IPWireless did in a deal with Nvidia and IV this week. That gives MIPS a solid cash injection and the freedom to develop next-gen products.

zylxzxcyz
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re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
zylxzxcyz   5/15/2012 3:55:16 PM
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Chinese company ...which one?

GREAT-Terry
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CEO
re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
GREAT-Terry   5/15/2012 2:07:47 PM
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I also agree that it is highly likely a Chinese company may finally acquire MIPS.

Patk0317
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CEO
re: Handicapping the field of possible MIPS suitors
Patk0317   5/15/2012 1:24:50 PM
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Rick, I see merit in your comment about Apple wanting the MIPs engineering team . My guess is that a sale could split the company with the IP going to one suitor and the engineers to another. Patrick

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