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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Remembering Mark Templeton: One of the Greats of IP

July 23rd, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

The semiconductor IP industry is reeling at news of the tragic death of Mark Templeton
while white water kayaking last weekend in Oregon. Well known, widely admired, and held in great esteem for both his intelligence and unassuming style, Templeton will be sorely missed, not just in the IP industry, but across the entire tech sector.

Per the Press Release: “Mark R. Templeton, 57, was a highly respected venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who used his background as an engineer to foster scientific advancement. In his capacity as a director and board member of numerous tech companies and organizations, he was instrumental in driving growth in the intellectual property market through a combination of technical and business innovation.”

In fact, Templeton’s career mirrored the emergence of the IP industry.

After spending 8 years at Silicon Compiler Systems, he co-founded Artisan Components in 1991, was acquired by ARM in 2004, served on ARM’s board of directors with Lucio Lanza prior to becoming North American President and Chief Strategy Officer at the company, and since 2008 has been managing director of Scientific Ventures, an investment and advisory firm specializing in the application of science and technology to new business concepts.

Since 2004, Templeton also served on numerous boards including Si2, Takumi, Fabbrix (President & CEO), Ablesky, Adaptive Sound Technologies, and DXCorr Design.

MarkTempletonIn addition, he was constantly contributing ideas and motivations to enhance the stature of the IP industry, often working closely with Lucio Lanza. Templeton was on stage in San Jose in November 2014 to help celebrate Lanza’s Kaufman Award, and again last month in Austin on the DAC panel Lanza assembled to discuss open source EDA.

Over the years, I have had multiple opportunities to interview Mark Templeton, particularly in reference to Artisan’s revolutionary royalty model for the IP industry. Rather than make money on their IP up front, Artisan famously provided their libraries for free and charged royalties instead on chips produced with that IP.

My favorite interview with Templeton, however, took place in 2004 [see below] on the day that Artisan was acquired by ARM for just shy of $1 billion. It is particularly poignant that Templeton’s death a week ago came just on the eve of the huge announcement that ARM itself has now been acquired.

Clearly for the IP industry, Mark Templeton was the right man at the right time. He was a leader and innovator in a technology that has been foundational in building today’s digital world.


A Great Global Party for IP …

On 24 August 2004, ARM announced it was buying Artisan. I spoke by phone that morning with 5 people involved in the acquisition:

Jerry Ardizzone, President of ARM Inc. (U.S. Operations), Liam Goudge, Director of Worldwide Business Development at ARM, Mark Grof, Business Development Manager at ARM, Mark Templeton, President and CEO at Artisan, and Neal Carney, the Vice President of Marketing at Artisan. Together, they fielded questions regarding ARM’s acquisition of Artisan.

Here is the transcript as published at the time in EDA Confidential.


Q: So tell me about this announcement.

Jerry Ardizzone: From ARM’s point of view, at a high level we believe this is a massively important opportunity to take the industry to next level. We’ve grown in 10 years from a niche in the semiconductor industry to being formidable
players today.

This acquisition is all about broadening our product reach. ARM and Artisan tend to call on the same customer base, passing each other in the lobbies of our customers. We have complementary sales channels, and together we will provide
one compelling solution, one-stop shopping.

We’re moving into the future. Think about the car. ARM is the engine who puts the motor into the auto. For the gears and drive shafts, Artisan has all the nuts and bolts and pieces.

So that’s our vision – a complete system offering that we can take to our combined customer base. It’s significant [that we’ll be] working closely together on microprocessor architecture development and standard cell libraries.

As we get into future products with high-performance super scalable cores, we’ll need high-energy efficient libraries. Our Intelligent Energy Manager is all about getting the technology into the system and processors that allow for significant energy savings.

Both companies are committed to R&D, It’s an exciting time.

Q: Excellent, so why didn’t this acquisition happen sooner – even 3 years ago?

Mark Templeton: The argument could be made that it should have happened 3 years ago. But there’s been a dramatic growth of use of our IP, a massive growth in the number of licenses. Clearly the industry is heating up with higher demand for IP.

Our customers are counting on us for more and more. Now people are betting their company on it. They have to have the IP for product development, because it’s more cost-effective.

Our two companies together give us an opportunity to serve the customer. IP isn’t a niche anymore. The whole industry wants it to be more powerful than that.

Q: But didn’t you have this critical mass 3 years ago?

Jerry Ardizzone: It’s not always about critical mass. Sometimes it’s about a cultural fit, about matching the business models.

Q: Uh oh. Has anybody told ARM that Artisan’s business model is to give their products away for free?

Jerry Ardizzone: Artisan doesn’t give away their products for free.

Mark Templeton: The manufacturers pay us millions of dollars for our products. We do provide some products on a no-cost basis – a part of our distribution doesn’t include an exchange of money – but it’s not just free for the sake of being free. It’s just for a more rapid distribution.

It’s important to realize that a business model doesn’t define a company. Even within Artisan, we have different models [for different products]. Other business models have been equally successful for us.

Q: I only asked that question because Jerry said it’s all about matching business models between the two companies.

Jerry Ardizzone: Sometimes product by product, the thing can be pretty complex if you look at the different products we sell. The bottom line is, we’re both calling on the customers with the same sales team and having opportunities in front of the design teams.

Now we’ll be offering cell libraries, mixed-signal I/O, and high-speed interconnect around cores that ARM can license. It’s software that we all have and a mix of business models that varies from customer to customer.

Liam Goudge: Even within ARM itself, for instance, we have single-use license, multiple-use license, perpetual licenses, architecture licenses. These all exist because [different models] may fit [different] customers.

Mark Templeton: It’s all about what the designers need to be successful. Different teams have different ways of dealing with things.

Jerry Ardizzone: [The strength of this acquisition is] proven by the massive commitment that each company has to its R&D. If we don’t have compelling technology, the customer won’t [deal with us]. But they will deal with us [if we’re offering] compelling solutions.

Mark Templeton: Even in our free products, we’re benchmarking against our competitors. We have to win benchmarks based on technical merits.

Q: Do you think that there are business and legal issues, more than technical issues, that remain to be resolved in the IP industry?

Mark Templeton: There are different ways to solve problems. Right now there are 2000 companies who license our products. We have learned how to get through our business and legal issues [in ways] that are very straightforward. If we
look across the landscape of IP, [we think the sophistication is there].

Q: Do you think we’ll ever see a third-party body to certify IP?

Mark Templeton: We don’t think a third-party certification organization is necessary, although smaller companies may not agree with that.

Jerry Ardizzone: We’re both committed to silicon-proven IP. Our users’ experience is good, and their out-of-the-box experience is good. We’ve put a lot of money [into quality IP]. I’ll quote the old IBM adage: ‘You’ll never get in trouble using IBM.’

There’s tons and tons of support within ARM and Artisan. There are 250 microprocessor licenses out there with 130 customers for ARM. There are 5000 products at 2000 customers for Artisan. We’ve got our revenue streams in place and can prove we’re in business.”

Q: How would you rate the percentage of technology issues versus people issues in the IP business? 50/50? 40/60?

Mark Templeton: It’s hard to separate out the percentages. Using our current technology, our customers are buying into our roadmap. They want to develop relationships with us because they want to use the same style of product going forward [for future products]. I would say it’s 50/50 between technology and people.

Q: When is the IP business about the product and when is it about the design support?

Liam Goudge: We did an agreement with Seagate. For them, it was a big deal to change architectures – the software development, the tool development.

There was lots of up-front work with them because they were betting the company on us – that we were going to be there for them, even afterwards. At the end of the business day, you have to be available to your customers.

Neal Carney: The caliber and reuse of IP distinguishes the IP industry from the design services industry today. There’s a critical mass of reuse in the IP model. It’s important to make compelling products that people want to reuse. Otherwise, it degenerates into a design services company. If it’s just a one-off product, then you’re really in a contract design services mode.

Q: How are staffing things going to change going forward between ARM and Artisan?

Jerry Ardizzone: It’s going to continue to be business as usual. Both companies will remain successful and will continue to march forward. Both companies will continue to innovate.

In terms of specifics, Mark [Templeton] will join our Board of Director and continue to run the group in Sunnyvale. Artisan Sales will stay intact. We’ll go up to 400 or so employees in the U.S. [from about 140]. Our management doesn’t see any changes at all.

Mark Templeton: Lucio Lanza and I will both join the Board at ARM.

Jerry Ardizzone: The important thing to note is that this announcement is about two great companies coming together with almost no product overlap and without any pain or anguish.

Q: When the deal is finalized, who will be paying for the champagne?

Jerry Ardizzone: We all will.

Mark Templeton: There will be a great global party – a great IP party. That should be your headline.


The above photo of Mark Templeton is courtesy of the ESD Alliance.


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