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TI Slashes Code Composer Studio Prices

I’ve had a fun time watching CAD pricing gyrations, especially Alibre’s pricing. TI has also varied pricing on Code Composer Studio (CCS) Platinum; most of the time it’s been $3595, it was $995 for a couple months, and it’s been around $2000. All the time the annual maintenance was $600/year.

Now a new node-locked license is $445 and annual maintenance is $99/year. A floating license is $795 with annual renewal at $159/year. TI calls this Promotional Pricing, so the price may go up, but with the drop in the yearly maintenance, I think they’ll keep the prices low.

Deelip and others think pricing too low is bad for CAD. I think there’s a point to this: the CAD (and embedded) market size is only somewhat elastic, and there are significant switching costs, so if you cut prices too much, your market size won’t increase much, but your revenues will go down.

However, TI is in the semiconductor business, not the software business, and the point of CCS is to sell more TI chips. Also, unlike the CAD space, there is significant open source competition (gcc and such). My guess is that TI will, over several years, significantly benefit from this; I suspect a major goal is to increase microcontroller developers’ familiarity with the rest of the TI processor (MCU, MPU, DSP) lineup. For example, my brother is more likely to design in a TI C6000 or OMAP processor after this price cut.

CCS is a great value; it includes the IDE and development tools for all of TI’s processors (MSP430 MCU, C28xx DSP, Stellaris MCU, C5000 DSP, C6000 DSP, TMS570 safety MCU, high-end ARM, etc) and a royalty free run time license for TI’s DSP/BIOS RTOS. Most commercial embedded IDE’s are quite pricey, typically starting at $1000 or more for a single architecture.

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