Electronic Design

ARM Partners Ship 10 Billion Processors

ARM and its partners have shipped over 10 billion chips, ranging from its well-known cell phone processors to its low-cost embedded microcontrollers. Though ARM licenses intellectual property — meaning it does not manufacture its own chips — its partners implement the designs onto silicon and ship the final products. "ARM was an early pioneer of this revolutionary business model (licensing microprocessor technology as intellectual property), and it has given ARM a long reach in the digital world," Tom Halfhill, senior analyst at In-Stat, said in a statement. "With each vendor using ARM processors to address its own focus markets, the number of ARM technology-based chips going out the door multiplies beyond what a single vendor could drive," Tom Starnes, analyst at Objective Analysis, said in a statement. Besides cell phones, ARM processors are found in smart phones, wireless routers, portable navigation devices (PNDs), iPods, video cameras, digital televisions, and hard-disk drives. The company developed its first processor — the ARM6, an embeddable RISC core — in 1991. According to an ARM release, the company's semiconductor partners currently ship almost three billion processors each year.

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