Semiconductor IP myths and revenue growth

July 19, 2012 — With 18.9% revenue growth, third-party semiconductor intellectual property (SIPs) seem to have had a good year in 2011. However, Semico reports, several very interesting trends in the SIP and broader system-on-a-chip (SoC) markets are hidden under the top-level numbers.

Semico broke the SIP market into ten separate IP categories, with data and analysis of the trends prevalent for each:

  • CPU Cores
  • Embedded Memory
  • Video and Graphics
  • Security
  • Chip Enhancement
  • DSP Cores
  • Analog
  • Logic
  • Interface
  • Interconnect

Semico examined areas such as the average licensing revenues per SoC design, the average royalties per SoC part and the average service revenues per SoC design. One of the little discussed areas of IP licensing is the fact that companies that are doing multiple SoC designs license the IP they use several blocks at a time and amortize the costs over several designs. This results in lower total licensing costs per design — counter to the prevailing wisdom that IP costs are skyrocketing out of sight. 

Analog IP is also often called an unsustainable business model. Analog IP is expected to grow at a 2011-2016 CAGR of 24.8% with licensing revenues reaching a CAGR of 25.1%. Analog IP at 40nm and below is very difficult to create and maintain, which means licensing and services fees will both increase over the forecast period.

Semico Research Corp. launched a new report: 3rd Party SIP Market Analysis and Forecast by Quarter (SC104-12), which looks at the SIP market by quarter from 1Q06-4Q16.

Semico is a semiconductor marketing & consulting research company. Access report information at

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