Semi IP licensing growth slows, vendor ranking stabilizes

May 06, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
The pace of growth for the market for semiconductor intellectual property (IP) slowed in 2014 after four years of double-digit percentage annual increases, according to market research firm Gartner Inc.

The total market in 2014, including license fees, royalties and related services, was worth $2.68 billion, up 9.0 percent on 2013. Market leader, ARM Holdings plc, did better than the market average and increased its market share to 46.0 percent in 2014 from 43.2 percent in 2013.

The cause of the slowing market growth was the impact of a saturated mobile phone and tablet computer market on royalty revenue, says Ganesh Ramamoorthy, vice president of research for Gartner, in a presentation outlining the results of Gartner's 14th global semiconductor third-party design IP market share survey. On the positive side, preparation for deployment of the Internet of Things, has led to increased licensing of short-range wireless interface IP, particularly low-energy Bluetooth, by manufacturers targeting a variety of wearable devices, he says.

Top 10 semiconductor design IP vendors, ranked by 2014 revenue. Source: Gartner Inc.

The ranking of the top ten vendors in 2014 remains the same as it was in 2013 with second placed Synopsys pulling away from Imagination Technologies in third and Cadence Design Systems Inc. in fourth.

Next: Outside the top ten