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Licensing drives MIPS Q4 revenue gains

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MIPS Technologies has posted profits of $4.6 million on revenue of $17.8 million for its fourth quarter ended 30 June. Year-on-year, those figures represent an increase in revenue of 62 per cent, though no increase at all in post-tax profitability. The bulk of the revenue gain came from the company's licensing programme. With the end of the quarter, MIPS also completed its first year as a public company after being spun off from SGI. For the year as a whole, it made $71.67 million, an increase of 26 per cent on the previous year, leading to net income of $22.7 million, compared to $376,000 for fiscal 1998. Again, you can see how licensing its processor technology helped MIPS: in fiscal 1998 only one per cent of its revenue came from licensing -- this time round the figure was 17 per cent. MIPS now has a good array of licensees, most notably graphics company ATI, which is basing its set-top box reference design on a MIPS chip, and Sony, which used the same technology to power its robot dog (MIPS can't afford to be too choosy, after all). Almost all of MIPS' partners are operating in the embedded arena, which will always be more lucrative than the desktop CPU market MIPS originally targeted. That suggests a very positive future for the company, particularly if it can continue to expand the revenue it receives from licensing. ®

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