Synopsys above ARM in IP licensing revenue in 2019 : Page 3 of 3

March 25, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Synopsys above ARM in IP licensing revenue in 2019
In terms of revenues for up-front technology licensing for semiconductor intellectual property (IP) Synopsys outperformed ARM in 2019, according to figures from market analysis firm IPnest.

There is no representation of the RISC-V open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) in the IPnest's ranking. Although the ISA is free to use several companies are starting to make both component and IP offerings around this.

Esteve, said that many suppliers were offering microcontroller components based on RISC-V but that these were not part of the IP market. Nonetheless there are IP offerings around RISC-V. "It is not easy for them to find a good business model although the ISA has extremely good potential."

The evolution over time of semiconductor IP categories shows that interface IP, such as SerDes, is growing in significance as processor IP is diminishing. Source: IPnest.

RISC-V also has a mountain to climb, said Esteve. "The 100-plus design wins for Si-Five cannot compare to the billions of ARM-based chips that ship each year." ARM has claimed that In 2017 it had more than 1,600 licensees going up by more than 100 per year and that more than 21 billion chips shipped with ARM IP inside.

Esteve said that RISC-V will become an issue for ARM over the years to come. "Customers are fed up with paying very high licensing for ARM," he said.

Esteve said his analysis shows that ARM's royalty revenue declined by 6 to 7 percent in 2019 on an annual basis. This is roughly in line with the fall in the logic, analog and SoC part of the chip market. But the company was more or less flat because the technology licening part of its business – including physical IP – was up 13 percent.

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