Inside ARM: The British Success Story That’s Taken The Microchip World By Storm

ZNet’s Nick Heath takes a look inside the British chip designer, from its origins in a Cambridge barn to its current champagne-marked successes and a future where M2M is key, noting that chances are you’re never more than a couple of feet from an ARM chip, since they not only power mobile phones, tablet PCs and MP3 players, but also the likes of hard drives, digital cameras, home broadband hubs, anti-lock brakes, smart cards and embedded microcontrollers serving a range of industries.

Heath observes that ARM has, to a great extent, powered the mobile computing revolution, with its chips sitting inside more than 95 percent of mobile phones including the iPhone, the iPad, and nearly all Android devices, but that ARM doesn’t actually make tablets or smartphones or even the processors that go inside them, but rather designs the cores of the processors that sit inside these devices and licenses those designs to third parties through more than 900 deals that license companies to use its chip designs across many different markets.

In his interesting capsule history of ARM, Heath notes that one of the first devices ever to use an ARM-based chip was Apple’s Newton tablet back in the 1990s that was terminated by Steve Jobs soon after his return to the company in 1997.

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