|The NVM Insider, Issue 15|
|Page 2 - Executive Opinion|
|Page 3 - Outside Thoughts|
|Page 4 - Sidense Out and About|
Sidense recently licensed its OTP IP for its 200th customer design, a significant milestone for an IP company developing non-volatile 1T-OTP memory as its only product. During the past quarter, we announced licensing of our 1T-OTP macros to two new customers, Aptina and Toumaz Microsystems. We've also been successful licensing our 1T-OTP to many of the top 25 semiconductor companies, as ranked by iSuppli for 2010.
There are several metrics IP vendors can use to gauge their success. Revenue and profit, naturally, are near the top of the "successful" list. However, broad industry acceptance - as measured by the breadth and diversity of its customer base - is also very important. With our customer base continuing to grow, Sidense has shown that its 1T-OTP products are in demand by a lot of companies for applications such as code and encryption key storage, analog trimming and calibration, device configuration and device IDs. The number of customer designs show that many of our customers have done more than one design using our OTP, a good indicator of their satisfaction with Sidense and our OTP.
The IP market is a niche market, with revenue of about 1% of the overall semiconductor business, but it is highly strategic for the chip makers. IP helps the chip maker to drastically improve their TTM, when buying a commodity function they can concentrate on the part of the design which differentiates them from the competition. When buying an advanced processor core, or a specific controller for the latest Ethernet protocol, to name a few, they can enter a certain market more rapidly and make a breakthrough.
Bringing so many advantages, the IP vendors should be very successful! In fact, what we see is an IP market dominated by either real innovators (ARM, Rambus or Silicon Image), or by a large EDA company who has built a strong portfolio by making successive acquisitions (USB, PCIe, DDRn, NVM, Memories, MIPI and mixed signal IP). Then you find a few dozen companies (maybe less) doing well, but no more, on niche markets. What about the other, several hundred companies? Trying to survive ...