Let me just comment from other perspective, cause "the bigger, the better" is not always true in IP market. Many times stuff from the 800-pound Gorilla IP vendors is not as much innovative and reliable as from smaller, but highly specialized IP providers. Just let's take as an example, which company has the most advanced IP solutions eg in 8051? And what about other IPs?
I take your point.
Most of the innovation in IP has been done at small, privately-held companies. After they get bought by Synopsys or Cadence does the innovation continue?
But Lip-Bu Tan's point is also valid and has been true for EDA tools vendors for a long time as well as IP cores.
Larger companies do not like to depend on small privately-held companies in case they go bust or get bought by the competition.
By the way who do you think produced the most advanced 8051 cores? Another Polish IP provider perhaps?
Is 8051 core a bit old-fashioned?
Thanks Peter for taking my point. As I mentioned, I don't say that being bigger is something wrong, but in many cases "big structure" can kill or at least weaken the spirit of innovations.
And re 8051, you're right, there's another Polish IP provider, who introduced the DQ80251 IP Core. Quality confirmation for this solution came not only from customers but you'd probably heard about EDN's Hot 100 products of 2012. Of the many thousands of products announced during the past year, EDN has chosen 100 that especially caught the attention of editors and readers. They range from ICs and components, to software, test instruments, development tools and sensors, and more. http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/other/4401454/EDN-Hot-100-products-of-2012--Microcontrollers--processors-and-programmable-logic . So would "a bit old-fashioned core" awarded by editors and readers of EDN?
I believe so. We cannot stop civilization process and transition to 32 bit MCUs is unstoppable, but still there's a place for other, innovative solutions - no matter if they are 8051 or 68k. Mentioned earlier DQ80251 can compete with eg M0...
There's also something more: http://www.soccentral.com/results.asp?EntryID=40462
It shows clearly, that there's a lot of place both for 8/16/32 and 32-bit MCUs - as long as they're innovative.