I think it was little over a year ago the CEO first started talking about RISC-V and CryptoManager. It’s good to see that Rambus has formalized this activity and is making a hardware core available for RISC-V designs.
However, I also notice this article does not address the business model. In other words, how will Rambus monetize this RISC-V opportunity in a way that will actually benefit shareholder value.
If I recall correctly, back about a year ago the CEO was eluding to a CryptoManager business model where the core would be provided for free (or possibly at cost), in hopes or belief of downstream revenue opportunities materializing.
In my opinion, this is essentially the same business model that the Qualcomm activity evolved into (given the actual revenue impact that ultimately became attributable to Qualcomm core usage).
Therefore, I think the most relevant question for Rambus shareholders is (and has been), when will the Qualcomm downstream revenue start to materialize and how large will it actually become?
Because in my opinion, the RISC-V CryptoManger core opportunity is similar in nature to the Qualcomm opportunity (although it’s very hard to imagine RISC-V core usage coming anywhere close to equaling the number of processors Qualcomm sells for phone usage) which appears to be centered around a downstream usage business model.