IMO, a silicon company that keeps the details of how to program its chips proprietary so that it's the only software source is not in a position to complain about how much it "must" spend to develop that software. IMO they should release the programming details so that the FaiF open source community can do its magic. Cypress almost does this with PSoC: almost all the register bits needed to program it are in public documents, though a key part is closed. Broadcom documents are usually completely closed.
Interesting observations about how semiconductor companies are investing more and more in software development, which they have to give a way for free in order to sell chips, yet at the same time VCs have all moved on to web companies...whose only real product is software.
Yes, this may be different model. Since pioneers of this industry have earn good money, they themselves may be investing in new innovation. They may not need VCs as much as new technology. Also fabless model makes it possible to innovation in any part of world like China, India or east european countries.
The "disruptive new science" should have it's share of attention, but close to earth start-ups do bigger success. The biggest progress in SoC industry in last decade was not in "disruptive" areas, but in SoCs for low-end consumer electronics and went largely unnoticed.
Only Govt. / public funded R&D can keep the fire burning in obscure areas and keep disruptive new science from getting suppressed by vested interests.
Though T. J. Rodgers does keep rolling with the punches ( P-SoC ), he seems to think too highly of his contributions. After all he is still walking on the path created by others like Bob Noyce that was first charted with Govt. / Taxpayer money.