Beyond Semiconductor owns all including commercial rights to the OpenRISC architecture. Furthermore, the BA2 processors are not based on OpenRISC architecture but on much more efficient architecture proprietary to Beyond Semiconductor.
The beauty about royalty is you will only end up paying significantly for successful chips ie ones you make a lot of and presumably make some revenue from. Paying an upfront fee means you take all the risk and costs upfront and this might force the vendor to make the fee so low to attract customers that it is not viable
The ARM royalty is usually calculated by the foundary such as TSMC. They know which devices have it and how many wafers have been run, so the accounting isn't that hard. Of course, no royalty is easier. It will be interesting to see how much of the pie Beyond can get.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.