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ARM wins deal with the big one – HP

Broad, long term licence agreement for hand-helds, networking, peripherals

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ARM has scored what may turn out to be one of its biggest deals yet, licensing the ARM7TDMI and ARM740TT microprocessor cores to Hewlett-Packard. HP is a market in peripherals and hand held devices, and says it intends to use the cores for a wide range of products, including portable computing, networking and peripherals. Also good news for ARM is the fact that HP sees the licences as strategic. "We view the signing of this agreement… as a key event in broadening our IP portfolio and as the start of a long-term relationship," says HP IC division manager Dick Chang. "HP chose the standardised architecture of the ARM7 core family in part for its broad availability of tools, and also for its software and design support, which enables reduced development time for our customers." Broadening market acceptance of ARM plus the ability of ARM licensees to develop their own intellectual property based on ARM standards will also have been attractive to HP. Historically the company has tried to work within industry standards while building its own technologies based on them. According to ARM VP of marketing Reynette Au, the deal will allow HP to design a broad range of products, and also to second-source chips for high-volume applications. This suggests that HP may be anticipating sourcing ARM chips from Intel, which has in the past provided chips for HP laser printers. ®

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