ARM’s new architectural licensee is likely Apple

A new architectural licensee revealed by mobile-chip designer ARM might just be an old friend: Apple.

Tom Krazit reports for CNET, “ARM Chief Executive Warren East revealed on an earnings conference call on Wednesday that ‘a leading handset OEM,’ or original equipment manufacturer, has signed an architectural license with the company, forming ARM’s most far-reaching license for its processor cores.”

“The company is thought to have very few architectural licensees. Although they are believed to include companies like Qualcomm, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Freescale, and Samsung, an ARM representative did not immediately respond to a request for the full list of architectural licensees,” Krazit reports. “Note the common ground between those companies: they are all chipmakers. No other major handset vendor–with the exception of Samsung–has taken a similar degree of interest in designing processors, which makes Apple a likely candidate for the new architectural license, given its plans for the P.A. Semi designers.”

Krazit reports, “Ties between ARM and Apple go back to the early 1990s, when ARM was actually created out of a partnership between Apple and Acorn, ARM’s forerunner.”

More in the full article here.

3 Comments

  1. “The company is thought to have very few architectural licensees. Although they are believed to include companies like Qualcomm, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Freescale, and Samsung, an ARM representative did not immediately respond to a request for the full list of architectural licensees. Note the common ground between those companies: they are all chipmakers. No other major handset vendor–with the exception of Samsung–has taken a similar degree of interest in designing processors.”

    That’s crazy. How can companies like Nokia and RIM expect to touch Apple? They have nowhere near the level of expertise.

    The only reason Samsung is the exception is because it’s a vast bureaucracy including a semiconductor arm all under the name Samsung.

  2. These changes in chipset will allow Apple to differentiate the Mac from generic PC’s by their more advanced graphics, visual effects, and ease of use. They will be able to tweak and customize them to eke out extra performance.

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