Electronics IP Industry – An August 2007 Update
by Dr. Russ Henke and Dr. Jack Horgan
In their September 2003, December 2003, February 2004, May 2004, August 2004, November 2004, February 2005, May 2005, August 2005, November 2005, February 2006, May 2006, August 2006, November 2006, February 2007 and May 2007. Electronics IP Industry Commentaries, the authors examined the recent financial histories and future outlooks of the remarkable phenomenon of Electronics Intellectual Property (IP) providers, a niche that has emerged in its own right to claim a substantial amount of revenue in the world of Electronics Design Automation. We had arbitrarily selected eight (8) publicly-traded companies originally (then called the “Group-of-8” or “G8”), as representative of the current financial state of the Electronics IP industry. At the end of 2004, ARM completed its acquisition of Artisan Components, Inc., thereby reducing our “G8” to “G7”. Accordingly, in this August 2007 Commentary, we look at the financial performances of the “G7” Electronics IP vendors during the second quarter of 2007.
ARM Holdings plc
MIPS Technologies, Inc.
Virage Logic Corporation
San Jose, CA
San Jose, CA
Mountain View, CA
Los Altos, CA
For the “G7” companies above, we assume that all of their revenues are Electronics IP sales and directly related IP services.
Recent Electronics IP News Highlights
On July 30, 2007 MOSAID Technologies Inc. announced that it has concluded the sale of certain assets of its Semiconductor Intellectual Property product development business to Synopsys for US$15.3 million in cash. The payment is subject to a US$2 million holdback for one year. Synopsys has also hired the Ottawa-based Semiconductor IP product engineering team. As covered in this website's weekly editorial on Patent Licensing - MOSAID in mid-May 2007, this sale follows the firm's sale of certain assets of its Systems Division's ATE business to Teradyne, Inc. for $20 million in cash. MOSAID intends to focus on its core patent licensing competencies. Revenues from continuing operations for fiscal 2007 (ended April 30, 2007) were CDN$59.9 million, up 56% from CDN$38.5 million in fiscal 2006. Net income from continuing operations for fiscal 2007 was CDN$20.5 million, compared with CDN$14.6 million in the prior year.
How did the Electronics IP G7 perform in the Second Quarter of 2007?
On the revenue front, Table 1 below reveals that the G7's combined Q2 2007 performance was $228 million, an increase of 5.5% from the second quarter of 2006 and a 2.3% increase from the first quarter of 2007. MoSys was the revenue percentage growth leader at 85%, with MIPS a strong second at 30%. ARM and LogicVision grew around 10%. Virage Logic was the largest decliner at minus 26.5%. Rambus declined slightly. On a sequential basis, MoSys at 38% was again the percentage growth leader, with MIPS at 24% and LogicVision at 17% also showing good growth. Rambus was the only decliner.
Figure 1 below provides a bar graph of each vendor's revenue for Q2 2006, Q1 2007, and Q2 2007 in sequence. ARM continues to dominate the G7 with 57% share. Rambus is a strong second at 21%. MIPS was a distant third at 10%. The percentages were similar in the prior quarter.
Turning to profitability, Rambus did not report earnings for the quarter. The remaining 6 firms (as shown in Table 2 below) had combined earnings of $17.7 million, down 36% from the same quarter a year earlier, but up nearly 11% from the just previous quarter. ARM and MIPS were the only firms with a net profit in the quarter above $1 million. ARM dominates here as it does in terms of revenue. However, ARM's net income year-over-year is down 32%, due in large part to $5.3 million profit on the disposal of an available-for-sale security in the year-ago quarter. MIPS net income in the quarter was impacted by a $3 million charge associated with its stock option investigation and resulting financial restatement.
Q2 2007 Results of Individual Electronics IP Providers:
Total dollar license revenues in Q2 2007 grew by nearly 15% to $59.3 million, representing 46% of group revenues, compared to $51.7 million in Q2 2006. License revenues comprised $45.3 million from PD and $14 million from PIPD.
Total dollar royalty revenues in Q2 2007 declined by 1.5% to $47.4 million, representing 37% of group revenues, compared to $48.1 million in Q2 2006. Royalties in the quarter were affected by a combination of normal seasonality, the semiconductor industry general inventory correction and lower foundry utilization levels. Royalty revenues comprised $40.1 million from PD and $7.3 million from PIPD, which included $0.6 million of “catch-up” royalties. Underlying royalties of $6.7 million for PIPD were broadly flat compared to underlying royalties in Q2 2006 while overall foundry industry revenue declined by approximately 15% over the same period, indicating encouraging market share gains.
Sales of development systems in Q2 2007 were up 9% to $14.1 million, representing 11% of group revenues, compared to $12.9 million in Q2 2006. Service revenues in Q2 2007 were up 20% to $8.4 million, representing 6% of group revenues, compared to $7.0 million in Q2 2006.
The Processor Division (PD), formerly the original ARM, had total revenues of $85.4 million accounting for 66% of total revenue. This was an increase of 12% year-over-year and an increase of 3.6% sequentially. During the quarter 15 licenses were signed including three Cortex family licenses, four ARM11 family licenses and one license (third in total) for the Mali graphics processor. Q2 licensing activity underpins further penetration of non-mobile markets as a high proportion of licensing in the quarter was for applications outside of the mobile phone market. PD units shipments in Q1 (our partners report royalties one quarter in arrears) declined 10% sequentially to 648 million units, although this was an overall increase of 17% versus Q2 2006. ARM9 shipments accounted for 40% of total units, including 17% relating to ARM926 shipments. ARM11 shipments again increased sequentially, comprising over 1% of total shipments.
The Physical IP division (PIPD), the Artisan division established after the acquisition at the end of 2004, had total revenue was $21.3 million accounting for 16.5% of total revenue. This was a decrease of 10% year-over-year and a decrease of nearly 16% sequentially. PIPD license revenue in Q2 2007 at $14.0 million compares to $16.9 million in Q1 2007 and $15.8 million in Q2 2006. Conversion of order backlog into revenue was lower in Q2 than in recent quarters due to a higher proportion of the physical IP engineering effort being deployed on the development of leading-edge technology. The proportion to be deployed on conversion of order backlog is expected to be higher in the second half. Underlying PIPD royalties were strong in Q2 2007 against a backdrop of significantly lower foundry utilization during the period. Underlying royalties in Q2 2007 were $6.7 million, a similar level to Q2 2006, whilst overall foundry industry revenue declined approximately 15% during the same period, demonstrating the continued increasing penetration and market share gains of ARM physical IP into chip designs.
ARM's net income for the quarter was $17.4 million, down 32.5% from $25.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier, and down 6.2% from the $18.6 million in the prior quarter. The year-ago quarter included $5.3 million profit on the disposal of an available-for-sale security.
On the same day as the quarter results announcement, ARM announced that Infineon Technologies AG has extended a license agreement to enable low-cost, high-performance ARM processors to be used in next-generation handset platforms.
Warren East, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are encouraged to have grown dollar revenues 11% in the first half against a challenging industry backdrop, compared to overall semiconductor industry revenues which grew less than 5%. A record quarter for licensing of ARM processor technology in Q2 enhances our prospects for further penetrating mobile and non-mobile markets in the future. In addition, good revenue growth and continued cost discipline have enabled us to increase profitability despite the continued strong currency headwind. Overall, ARM is well-positioned to benefit from the generally-anticipated improvement in industry conditions in the second half and we are confident of achieving full-year earnings in line with expectations.”
On July 24, 2007 CEVA, Inc reported financial results for the second quarter, the period ending June 30, 2007. Total revenue for the quarter was $8.5 million, a slight increase of 1% compared to $8.4 million reported for the second quarter of 2006, and a sequential increase of 10% from $7.7 million for the first quarter of 2007. Licensing revenue was $5.5 million, or nearly 65% of total revenue, a decrease of 8% from $6.0 million reported for the second quarter of 2006, and a sequential increase of 19% from $4.6 million for the first quarter of 2007. Royalty revenue for the quarter was $1.9 million, or 22.4% of total revenue, an increase of 33% over $1.4 million for the second quarter of 2006, and slightly lower by 2.0% from the traditionally strong first quarter of 2007 in which royalty revenue was $2.0 million. Revenue from services for the first and second quarters of 2007 was $1.1 million, an increase of 11% compared to $1.0 million reported for the second quarter of 2006. The $1.1 million in services was nearly 13% of total CEVA revenue.
During the second quarter of 2007, CEVA concluded eight new license agreements. Six agreements were for CEVA DSP cores and platforms, one agreement was for CEVA SATA technology, and one agreement was for CEVA Bluetooth 2.0+EDR technology.
Net income for the second quarter of 2007 was $430K, compared to a net loss of $217K for the year ago quarter, and compared to net income of $0 in the just prior quarter.
Gideon Wertheizer, Chief Executive Officer of CEVA, stated, "The second quarter of 2007 was a strong quarter for the main aspects of our business, including total revenue reached, the backlog and pipeline build up and the increase in royalty revenue which was 33% higher compared to the equivalent quarter last year. We are also particularly pleased with the continued success of our newest generation CEVA-TeakLite-III DSP core in penetrating the home entertainment market, as well as the strategic decision made by one of the largest European semiconductor companies to broadly use our technology over its internally developed DSP solution."
Net loss for the quarter was $1.1 million, a significant improvement from the loss of $11.7 million the prior year, and a minor improvement from the loss of $1.2 million in the just previous quarter.
James T. Healy, president and CEO of LogicVision, said, "We are very pleased that revenues exceeded our guidance in the second quarter, growing 17 percent sequentially, and that our net loss was the smallest we've achieved since 2001. We are also pleased to have maintained our cash balance at about $7 million, which exceeded our guidance by more than 40 percent."
Net income for the quarter was $2.3 million, a drop of almost 69% from the $7.4 million a year earlier, but an increase of 89% from the $1.2 million in the previous quarter. The company incurred approximately $3.0 million in costs and charges related to its stock option investigation and restatement in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, and $5.7 million for the fiscal year.
For fiscal 2007, MIPS generated $83 million in revenue, a robust 30% increase over the $64 million in fiscal 2006. Royalty revenue was 53% of the total, up 21% over last year. Contract revenue was 47% of total revenue, up 42% over last year. Net income for the fiscal year was $8.4 million, down 23% from $11 million in fiscal 2006.
On July 2, 2007 MIPS announced that the company had filed with the SEC its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2006 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the first, second and third quarters of fiscal 2007, ended September 30, 2006, December 31, 2006 and March 31, 2007, respectively. These filings contain financial statements that were restated as a result of a voluntary review of the company's stock option practices conducted by a special committee of the company's board of directors.
John Bourgoin, president and CEO, said, “MIPS fourth fiscal quarter was outstanding in several respects. Record license revenues helped us close a fiscal year in which we enjoyed 30 percent growth over the prior year, we introduced our performance-leading 74K core family to considerable industry acclaim, and we completed the process of becoming current with our SEC filings. Our licensees' unit shipments also grew a healthy 29 percent in the fiscal year. As we enter our new fiscal year, MIPS has the strongest product base we have ever offered to our customers.”
Net loss for the quarter was $146K, compared to a loss of $2.1 million in the year ago quarter, and a loss of $969K in the just prior quarter.
Chet Silvestri, CEO of MoSys, Inc., said, "During the second quarter, we signed another Technology License agreement for our 1T-SRAM(R) at an advanced process node. This agreement will enable NEC Electronics (NEC) to incorporate our 1T-SRAM technology onto their 55nm process for use in chip implementations targeting next-generation consumer, graphics and networking applications.” He added “We are pleased with the growth in royalties that we are achieving due to the incorporation of our 1T-SRAM technology into the Nintendo Wii game console. The success of this game console is contributing to quarter-over-quarter growth in royalty revenues and increasing the visibility of our 1T-SRAM technology in the marketplace."
On June 11, 2007, Rambus announced that its customers have shipped over 25 million XDR DRAMs (extreme data rate dynamic random access memory).
On June 19, 2007, Rambus announced that its XDR memory architecture has been adopted in Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) DLP£ technology. Projectors powered by the DLP chip utilizing the XDR memory architecture are said to provide unmatched image quality and stunning color, and are ideal for displaying movies, sports, games or digital photos.
As the restatement of the Company's historical financial reports has not yet been completed, Rambus will not release its second quarter 2007 earnings. In addition, Rambus does not expect to be in a position to file its Form 10-Q for the second quarter of fiscal 2007 by the August 9, 2007 filing deadline.
Rambus expects to file its Form 10-K for fiscal 2006 in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Rambus is making every effort to file its delinquent annual and quarterly reports as soon as practicable. Rambus expects its financial restatements to included estimated pre-tax non-cash charges related to stock option issues of about $70 million for 1997 through 2005.
Harold Hughes, president and chief executive officer at Rambus, said, "We saw growing interest this quarter among customers for our XDR(TM) memory architecture. We believe our patented innovations and products like the XDR architecture are vital to delivering the high bandwidth needed in next-generation consumer electronics and computing applications."
On a geographic basis North America accounted for 45% of total revenue, Asia 31% and EMEA 24%. License revenue by process node was 31% at 90nm, 28% at 65nm, 25% at 130nm and 16% other. Royalty revenue by process node was 68% for 130nm and 180nm combined, 27% at 90nm and less than 5% at 65nm.
During the quarter, the company incurred $0.6 million of restructuring charges in connection with consolidation of some of its operations, including the closing of its Seattle R&D site. The company now has 390 employees.
On June 7, 2007 the company announced the appointment of Pete Rodriguez as chief marketing officer and Kamalesh Ruparel as vice president of silicon technology. Rodriguez currently serves as a director for EXAR and previously served as president & CEO of Xpedion Design Systems, Inc., which was recently acquired by Agilent Technologies. Ruparel was vice president of engineering at Anchor Bay Technologies (also known as DVDO, Inc.), responsible for system and ASIC engineering. Previously he spent approximately ten years at Cisco Systems.
Virage Logic's net loss for the quarter was $1.2 million, compared to a loss of $1.6 million in the same quarter a year earlier, and compared to a loss of $1.8 million in the previous quarter.
Dan McCranie, president and chief executive officer of Virage Logic, said, "While we were able to grow revenue 7% sequentially to $11.3 million, we did not meet our minimum revenue guidance of $11.5 million. That said, the company did make significant improvements in securing new multi-year licensing contracts, particularly in the most advanced 45nm and 65nm process nodes. These contract wins resulted in our again achieving sequential total license backlog growth.”
Stock Market Prices of the G7 Electronics IP Providers
As shown in Tables 4 and 5 and Figure 2 below, the combined stock prices for the G7 increased in absolute terms 2.1%, but decreased 1.3% sequentially. The average percentage change was nearly 8% year-over-year and 2.6% sequentially. This compares to average increases in the three major stock indexes of 19.5% year-over-year, and 7.3% sequentially.
On a year-over-year basis Ceva, MIPS and ARM had growth of over 40%. MoSys had good growth at nearly 12%. On the other side LogicVision declined 47% and Rambus and Virage Logic both declined around 21%.
On a sequentially basis CEVA and ARM were the growth leaders of 18% and 12%, respectively. Rambus was the largest decliner at 15%.
Forecast Guidance from Individual IP Providers
The combined forecast for the third quarter of 2007 calls for a year-over-year increase of 8.4%, and a sequential rise of almost 3%. MoSys and ARM are the most optimistic at 19% and 16% year-over-year growth, respectively, with LogicVision, CEVA, and MIPS also with double-digit growth expectations. Virage Logic was the largest decliner at almost -17%. Rambus also declined over 5%. On a sequential basis Virage Logic is the growth leader at almost 11% with ARM and MoSys close behind. MIPS and Rambus forecast an 8% drop.
Individual Company by Company Guidance
ARM did not give guidance except to say that earnings would be in line with expectations. 46% of backlog is expected to be converted into revenue in the second half of 2007. During the recent analysts' call, the firm said it expected revenue for the year to be around $550 million, a 13% increase versus $484 million for the prior year. This translates to around a 16% increase in US$ for the second half of the year.
As guidance CEVA expects revenue for the next quarter to be in the range of $8.2 million to $9.2 million. This compares to $8.5 million in the quarter just reported and to $7.9 million in the same quarter in 2006. Revenue for the year is expected to be in the range of $34 million to $36 million, versus $32.5 million in the prior year.
As guidance LogicVision expects revenue in the next quarter to be in the range of $3.0 million to $3.2 million compared to $3.1 million in the quarter just reported and $2.7 million in the third quarter of 2006. The company is forecasting a net loss of $900K to $1.1 million.
CEO James Healy said, “During the third quarter of 2007, we expect to start more evaluations with both new and existing customers. In addition to potential new business, we expect to benefit from several renewals from significant customers in the second half of the year. With our expanded product offering, unique position to capitalize on the captive market and partnerships with key EDA and ATE companies, we are ready to meet the increasing demand for BIST solutions."
As guidance MIPS expects royalty revenue in the next quarter to be between $11.25 million and $11.75 million and contract revenue to be between $10 million to $10.5 million. Total revenue is expected to be between $21.25 million and $22.25 million, compared to $23.7 million (a record) in the quarter just reported and $19.7 million in the same quarter last year.
As guidance MoSys expects revenue in the next quarter to be between $4.5 million and $5 million compared to $4.3 million in the quarter just completed and $4 million in the same quarter a year earlier. This includes roughly flat royalty revenue of $2.3 million. Total revenue for the year is expected to be in the range of $18 million to $21 million, a growth rate above 30%. Royalty revenue is expected to be in the range of $8 million to $10 million, an increase of 50%.
Rambus expects revenue for the next quarter to be between $41 million and $46 million; this compares to $47.5 million in the quarter just reported and to $45.9 million in the third quarter of 2006. Because of the FTC order setting a limit of certain royalties, approximately $15 million in second half revenue is considered to be at risk.
Virage Logic CEO Dan McCranie said, “With the increase in license booking activity in the past quarter, we are entering our fiscal Q4 with a higher backlog than last quarter. With this backlog increase, coupled with our projected turns, we anticipate total revenues to increase to approximately $12.0 million to $13.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. License revenues are expected at $9.1 million to $9.9 million and royalty revenues are expected at $2.9 million to $3.1 million.” This compares to $11.5 million in the quarter just completed and to $15 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
EDA Consortium's Market Statistics
For the first quarter of 2007, the CAE segment accounted for 38.7% of total revenue, IC Physical Design and Verification for 26.5%, PCB/MCM 9.9%, Semiconductor IP for 18.2% and Services for 6.6%.
For the quarter North America accounted for 46% of total revenue, Western Europe for 17%, Japan 23% and ROW 13%.
Aart de Geus, chairman of the EDA Consortium and chairman and CEO of Synopsys, said, "The same forces that we previously cited as drivers for EDA's continued growth apply to this quarter's figures. Consumer electronics and the continued move toward deeper sub-micron processes are fueling the need for advanced EDA tools in all segments of the industry."
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About the Authors:
Since 1996, Dr. Russ Henke has been president of HENKE ASSOCIATES, a San Francisco Bay Area high-tech business & management consulting firm. The number of client companies for Henke Associates now numbers more than forty. During his corporate career, Henke operated sequentially on "both sides" of MCAD and EDA, as a user and as a vendor. He's a veteran corporate executive from Cincinnati Milacron, SDRC, Schlumberger Applicon, Gould Electronics, ATP, and Mentor Graphics. Henke is a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and served on the SME International Board of Directors. He is also a member of the IEEE and a Life Fellow of ASME International. In April 2006, Dr. Henke received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from The CAD Society, presented by CAD Society president Jeff Rowe at COFES2006 in Scottsdale, AZ. In February 2007, Henke also affiliated with Cyon Research's select group of experts on business and technology issues as a Senior Analyst. This Cyon Research connection aids and supplements Henke's ongoing, independent consulting practice (Henke Associates).
An part of the HENKE ASSOCIATES team since 2001, LA-based Dr. John R. (Jack) Horgan co-authored this June 2007 Electronics IP Industry Commentary. Dr. Horgan's prior corporate career has included executive positions at Applicon, Aries Technology, CADAM and MICROCADAM, as well as a stint at IBM. Dr. Horgan is also an editor of EDAcafe Weekly.
Since May 2003 the authors have now published a total of fifty-five (55) independent articles on MCAD, PLM, EDA and Electronics IP on IBSystems' MCADCafé and EDACafé. Further information on HENKE ASSOCIATES, and URL's for past Commentaries, are available at http://www.henkeassociates.net.