backtop


Print 9 comment(s) - last by StevoLincolnit.. on Feb 6 at 11:53 PM

It pays to be king of mobility

Whether you're an Apple, Inc. (AAPL) fan, a Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) fan, or you hate them both, chances are you have a device powered by a processor using either ARM Holdings Plc.'s (LON:ARM) proprietary instruction set or intellectual property cores.

In the last two decades the UK-based ARM has established itself as the kingpin of mobile and embedded applications.  And with smartphones and tablets today chipping away at traditional computer sales, ARM is soaring high.

While the architecture mastermind only get a small licensing fee per chip made by companies like Samsung, Apple, Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), or NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA), those pennies add up to big revenue.  Best of all, since the revenue is virtually all in the form of licensing fees, ARM enjoys massive margins.

Analysts were hoping for an impressive £75.6M ($119.2M USD) on a revenue of £152.2M ($239.9M USD).  ARM made those estimates look conservative, announcing [PDF] that in Q4 2012 it made a pre-tax profit of £80M ($126.1M USD) on a revenue of £164.2M ($258.8M USD).  That's up 16 percent from a year ago, and sets a new record for the veteran chip-designer.

ARM chip on penny
ARM's low-power system-on a chips dominate the mobile and embedded markets.
[Image Source: Digital Trends]

In accompanying statements ARM said that it does not predict a slowing semiconductor market will hurt its growth.  It says that effect will be offset by the company's dominance in fast-growing niches, such as the tablet computing market.

Sources: ARM, Reuters



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: ARM revenue
By StevoLincolnite on 2/6/2013 11:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
I would think the "x86 tax" would be much smaller than 5 or 10%.
The Pentium MMX had about 4.5 million transistors and can run x86 code fine.
These days we are heading into multiple billions of transistors, so the basic x86 functionality in terms of die-size cost would be absolutely trivial.
Stuff like SSE and AVX instructions add to the die size, but again after multiple moves to a smaller fabrication process it would take up bugger-all die space.

I think AMD claimed at one stage that x64 alone at one stage was taking up a fraction of the Athlon 64's die area, but after a few die shrinks it accounted for less than 1%.

You also need to account that ARM processors are in the same league as Intel Atom which is very competitive in terms of power consumption/performance and that is an old 5 year architecture, Core based chips... Sure are more complex, but they are also 10's of multiples faster.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki