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Motorola offers royalty-free M-Core licences

But only to Japanese OEMs, which isn't as daft as it might sound

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Motorola today announced it is licensing its M-Core embedded processor architecture to Japanese OEMs free of charge. The move was predicted by The Register back in March. Under the terms of the deal Japanese companies can license Motorola's technology free of charge for products that will ship only into the domestic Japanese market. Exported products will require a royalty payment -- under "attractive" terms, claimed the chip vendor -- so essentially this is a simply a 'buy one market, get another free' kind of deal. When The Register spoke with Kyle Harper, Motorola's manager for wireless markets on the M-Core team, he hinted that a new, upcoming licensing programme would offer a low barrier to entry, and zero royalties certainly are low. Targeting the Japanese market makes sense given that country's vigorous adoption of wireless communications technology, the market for which M-Core was designed for. And M-Core is one of the processors of choice for the Symbian alliance, of which Motorola is a member, so the deal could provide a boost for the EPOC32 operating system as well as the M-Core architecture itself. Indeed, it appeared today that Motorola is including EPOC32 among the "menu of key software" for M-Core it is making available as part of the licensing deal. The deal also includes sub-licences for Motorola's KJava virtual machine, licensed from Sun. ®

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