It looks like this bidding war won’t end very soon, but I didn’t expect Ceva to back down that easily, after Imagination raised the bid to $80 million just a few days ago. Hopefully, Imagination has enough money to continue outbidding them and win MIPS for themselves, though. Imagination is one of the ideal candidates for MIPS.
I would’ve preferred AMD to get MIPS, and create this powerful triangle between themselves with MIPS, Intel with x86 and ARM. It would’ve been something very interesting to watch how it plays out. Unfortunately, it seems AMD is in dire need of some vision and strategy lately. They completely missed the smartphone and tablet markets, just like they missed the netbook market before. It seems they only want to enter a game after the leaders of that game are already established. That’s almost always the wrong strategy.
To own a new market, you need to be one of the very first players in that market to get the necessary years-long branding and engineering experience to out-compete everyone in that market. You can’t just enter the market 5 years later and expect to beat the established players. By then the pie has already been split, and you’re left with the crumbs.
Although it would’ve been very nice if AMD had the MIPS architecture, and it would’ve helped them get some competitive advantages on that architecture vs Intel and ARM, I’m not so sure if AMD’s current leadership would’ve been capable enough to take full advantage of it, especially considering the reality that MIPS is way behind x86 and ARM in terms of momentum in the markets right now, and it needs someone to properly market it.
So I think Imagination is the next best suited company to own the MIPS architecture, as they have the right kind of incentives to try and make it as competitive as possible with x86 and ARM, and to fully integrate their GPU’s into the MIPS architecture. Ceva seems like a company that wants MIPS because it “would be nice to have”, and I question MIPS’ future there. With Imagination, although it’s a very hard task, MIPS could have a very bright future, and competition between 3 architectures is much better than competition between only two, especially considering Android can easily work on all 3, with little to no disruption in how apps work on them.