Feport ranks IP providers by category (CPU, DSP, GPU and ISP, wired interface, SRAM compiler, flash memory compiler, library and I / O, AMS, wireless interface, infrastructure and other digital) and by nature (license). and Royalty).

The main trends shaking Design IP in 2021 are very positive for most IP providers, especially for Synopsys, which is growing by 21.7%, more than the market, as well as Imagination Technologies (IMG) with 43.4% and providers a compiler of Flash memory (SST, eMemory Technology) and Alphawave with over 100% growth.

The growth of Synopsys and Alphawave confirms the importance of the IP cable interface market (up 22.7% for the category) in line with data-oriented applications, hyperscalar, data center, networks or IA. But the good performance of ARM and IMG proves the return of the smartphone industry and the emergence of the automotive industry as a growth vector.

Growth of IP 2016 2021 1

Considering the evolution of the IP market in 2016-2021 can bring interesting information about the main trends. The global IP market grew by 59.3% when the Top 3 providers recorded uneven growth. # 1 ARM increased by 33.7% when # 2 Synopsys increased by 140.9% and Cadence (# 3) by 167.2%. Market share information is even more significant. ARM moved from 48.1% in 2016 to 40.4% in 2021, while Synopsys enjoyed a move from 13.1% to 19.7% (or a profit of 50% of market share from 2016 to 2021!), And Cadence progresses from 3.4% to 5.8%.

This can be synthesized by comparing the CAGR from 2016 to 2021:

CAGR 2016 2021 1

The strong information is that the Design IP market enjoys almost 10% CAGR for 2016-2021! It is also noticeable that Synopsys with 19.2% CAGR increased more than three times compared to ARM (6% CAGR).

IPnest has also calculated the ranking of IP providers by licenses and royalty revenue:

Top 5 license 2021 1

Synopsys is the clear winner №1 in revenue from IP licenses with 31.2% market share in 2021, while ARM is №2 with 25.6%. Founded in 2017, Alphawave now ranks 4th after Cadence, showing how high performance SerDes IP is essential for a modern data-driven application (Alphawave is the leader for PAM4 112G SerDes offered in 7nm, 5nm and 3nm from various foundries, TSMC, Samsung and Intel-IFS).

Readers of Semiwiki should not be surprised, as I foresaw the importance of SerDes IP in a blog written in 2012. “So little silicon, so strategic PHY IP”

In fact, Synopsys’ good performance is partly due to their strong focus on the category of cable interfaces, where they enjoy 55.6% of the 1.3B market, and the high-performance SerDes is the mainstay of the interconnection market. Synopsys has adopted a one-stop-shop strategy, supporting almost all protocols (USB, PCIe, Ethernet, SATA, HDMI, MIPI, DDR memory controller) and enjoying a leading market share in each protocol.

Alphawave complements itself in the sense that their strategy is rather “Stop-For-Top”, limiting their support to the most modern products of the most modern technological units. If we look at the results of 2021 Design IP, both can be successful by following a different strategy and market positioning.

Top 5 Royalty 2021 1

The 2021 ranking for Royalty shows ARM’s dominance of 60.8% market share, which is not surprising given their installed customer base and strong position in the smartphone industry. More surprising is the return of SST and Imagination Technologies (IMG), respectively. # 2 and # 3 in this Top 5.

SST has benefited from the development of microcontrollers, as they equip most of the microcontroller products sold. IMG has managed to overcome the air pocket generated by Apple a few years ago and reposition itself as a modern provider of GPUs in various segments on top of the smartphone such as car entertainment, Smart TV or tablets.

With growth of 19.4% on an annual basis in 2021, the IP design industry simply confirms how incredibly strong this niche in the semiconductor market is and the CAGR from 2016 to 2021 of 9.8% is a good indicator! IPnest also made a 5-year forecast (not yet published) for Design IP to weigh $ 11 billion in 2026 and forecast a future CAGR (2021 to 2026) of 15%. An optimist? This annual growth in 2021 is online with this forecast …


Design IP Sales Grew 19.4% in 2021

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