| SAN FRANCISCO — RBC Capital Equipment analyst Garo Toomajanian Thursday (Oct. 6) applauded the introduction of ARM Ltd.'s Coretex-A8 processor, particularly the fact that it has already been licensed by five customers. |
In a research note published Thursday, Toomajanian said that RBC (San Francisco) is "encouraged" to see that Coretex-A8 has been licensed by major semiconductor companies, including Freescale Semiconductor, Matsushita Electric, Samsung Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.
"This announcement gives us increased confidence in ARM's broader ability to grow license revenue longer term, as well as for sustained royalty growth," the research note said.
ARM (Cambridge, U.K.) introduced the Cortex-A8 processor at its developers conference in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday. ARM claims that the Cortex-A8, the first applications processor based on the next-generation ARMv7 architecture, will give handset makers a four-fold performance improvement over existing solutions for applications such as mobile entertainment, communications and gaming.
Toomajanian, who Wednesday reduced RBC's rating of MIPS Technologies Inc. to "sector perform" after MIPS pre-announced a fiscal 2006 first quarter earnings shortfall, said RBC does not believe that ARM is seeing the same licensing revenue weakness that MIPS is experiencing. Toomajanian reiterated RBC's "outperform" ranking of ARM, with an above average risk assessment.
Meanwhile, several companies took advantage of the ARM Developer's Conference this week to announce ARM-related news.
EDA heavyweights Cadence Design Systems Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) and Synopsys Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) announced tool flow support for Cortex-A8.
Cadence said its Cortex-A8 flow uses the Cadence Encounter digital IC design platform incorporating Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis, Encounter Conformal equivalence checking and SoC Encounter RTL-to-GDSII system. Cadence also announced support and services to improve time-to-market for ARM Partners implementing Cortex-A8 processor-based designs.
Synopsys said it has collaborated with ARM to demonstrate the successful integration of Synopsys' Galaxy RTL synthesis, hierarchical design planning, physical implementation solution, sign-off and Discovery verification solution within a high-performance design flow for the Cortex-A8. Some unnamed early ARM Cortex-A8 processor licensees are deploying Synopsys Galaxy Design and Discovery Verification platform tools to implement Cortex-A8 processor designs, Synopsys said.
Accelerated Technology, a Mobile, Ala.-based division of Mentor Graphics Corp. (Wilsonville, Ore.) unveiled Nucleus Energy Manager (EM) software, which, combined with the ARM Intelligent Energy Management (IEM) software technology and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling hardware, allows developers to increase energy performance and extend battery life for handheld devices, the company said.
Sonics Inc. (Mountain View), a supplier of system-on-chip (SoC) SMART Interconnects, announced availability of the newest version of its SonicsMX SMART Interconnect, which the company said adds seamless connection and data flow services management for intellectual property (IP) cores implemented using the AMBA 3 AXI interconnect.
Sierra Design Automation (Santa Clara) announced that it joined the ARM Connected Community.