ARM over the years has been hugely successful in the design processor cores, especially for the mobile sector. Its Cortex CPU cores and Mali GPUs are popular in smartphone and tablet SoCs. But now ARM would like to go one step further and start making complete chips. Aiming to make it easier for smartphone companies to build their own processors.
ARM will start producing chips, with reference designs
According to the Financial Times, ARM would have created a division dedicated to this purpose, led by Kevork Kechichian, a former Qualcomm executive and chip expert. The idea would be to offer reference designsi.e. processor models from which to start customizing your own processor.
This movement fits into the context of a transformation of ARM, which is preparing to list on the Nasdaq. ARM has changed its business model, from 2024 it will ask for licenses from device manufacturers and not from processor manufacturers. And it has partnered with Intel to leverage its factories to produce chips with advanced technologies.
Con i reference design, ARM wants to make life easier for those companies that would like to have a custom processor but they don’t have the resources and skills to do it. One thinks above all of the Chinese companies that they use today Qualcomm or Mediatek as processorsand who would like to differentiate themselves from the competition with an optimized SoC for their device.
Some of these companies, like OPPO o Xiaomi, have already developed some minor components like the ISP (the Marisilicon) or the charge controller. But with this novelty, they could do as Google with Tensor and Apple with its A chips.