I'm sorry but I don't get the connection to the value of the patent portfolio. BRCM is the top MIPS customer. I would be more impressed if they announced someone paying them for patents that doesn't use MIPS. I mean, come on.
ARM still has a long way to go to catch up to MIPS for multi-core or 64-bit. For Broadcom, they would loose at least a year if they swapped to ARM to get to the same number of cores and 64-bit as they currently have with their MIPS ISA. A real pity that MIPS was so greedy when they still had Sony and Nintendo as customers. I still recall the prices of Silicon Graphics boxes, the Compaq fiasco, it just keeps coming back in nightmares. I wasted years working with various MIPS devices.
This is chump change for Broadcom to protect its long time interests. Hopefully this keeps MIPS (company) alive for a bit longer. Broadcom will be one of the few companies remaining that continue to be a MIPS house. Remember that it paid a staggering $4B to acquire Netlogic for their MIPS processor implementation. They don't have an option but to continue down the MIPS line.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.