Starting off as an IP (intellectual property) provider of the ARM embedded RISC microprocessor core, ARM Holdings in Cambridge, U.K. expanded into creating and licensing other technology for the silicon and software components that go into devices like mobile phones. This enterprise may irk some its partners, ARM Holdings Chairman Sir Robin Saxby acknowledges in this interview.
ARM formally launched in May the OptimoDE data engine technology for embedded signal processing applications. In October the company launched its Neon technology, a 64/128-bit SIMD (single instruction multiple data) instruction set that will be implemented in ARM processors, for next-generation media and signal processing applications. Along the way, the company has also introduced IP for other technology such as multimedia and graphics accelerators.
In the interim, ARM’s business is growing. This year, ARM’s licensees, which the company calls its partners, will ship 1.3 billion chips with the ARM microprocessor cores, according to the company, which also claims its cores go into 85 percent of mobile phone chip shipments.
Saxby spoke to IDG News Service about the company’s strategy in extending its IP portfolio, and how its partners like Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) and Intel Corp. are likely to react to ARM’s growing portfolio. Below is an edited transcript.