HSINCHU, Taiwan -- As part of an effort to spread out its reach in Asia, ARM Ltd. has licensed Faraday Technology Corp. its architecture for wireless applications.
Cambridge, England-based ARM has licensed Faraday, one of Asia's biggest providers of IC designs and intellectual properties outside Japan, to develop a full range of solutions based on the ARMv4 platform, the companies said in a press conference held in Taiwan.
"ARM has been working in the Asia-Pacific market for some time and believes that Taiwan's IC design industry will play an important role in the global semiconductor market," said Jamie Urquhart, chief strategy officer of ARM, which offers 16-bit and 32-bit embedded RISC processor designs. "We see Faraday as an important partner in helping ARM to further penetrate the Asia-Pacific market."
In Asia, ARM currently has an office each in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. The agreement is important for ARM as Taiwan is the world 's second-largest IC designer after the U.S. In addition, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp., both based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, together control about two-thirds of the pure-play silicon foundry market worldwide.
For Faraday -- a spin-off from UMC -- the partnership helps it gain a bigger exposure in its systems-on-chip (SoC) designs for wireless applications. "The importance of RISC CPUs in a wide spectrum of portable applications such as mobile phones, PDAs, wireless communications and multimedia is equivalent to the significance of the CISC CPU in the PC market, and the potential for RISC CPUs for mass production is much greater," said H.P. Lin, president of Faraday.
"In the near future, we expect that with the help of RISC-based solutions jointly promoted by ARM and Faraday, many new SoC design customers will be able to devise creative niche products in new territories."
The agreement also suggested one of ARM's strategies is to "work with Faraday to he lp boost the volume of ARM-based solutions," said Eric Chen, an analyst with SG Securities in Taipei. Faraday and ARM had similar agreements last year.
Designs based on Faraday's implementation FA500 will be available in the third quarter of 2002, the companies said. FA500 customers will be able to take advantage of the ARM development environment.