Feeds

ARM strengthens low power hand, targets smart grid

Extends reach with new microcontroller

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

As Intel moves into its heartland territory in smartphones, processor firm ARM is extending its reach in turn. With Intel's efforts to reduce power consumption dramatically in Atom as yet unproven, ARM hangs on to its power advantage, and is moving more aggressively into embedded wireless and the 'internet of things'.

A future where broadband wireless connectivity is incorporated into just about every gadget we use creates a massive opportunity for low power, low cost chips, and this will be chased by semiconductor vendors using all the key processor architectures. Also, these chips will increasingly need to deliver a measure of intelligence as well as connectivity, as machine-to-machine and consumer devices need to collect more data and transmit it to the web - smart grid being a currently voguish example.

ARM's latest microcontroller addresses this challenge, adding greater intelligence and intensive math computation to the Cortex-M line. The M4 is targeted at web connected sensor networks, in particular the automotive, power management, embedded audio, and industrial automation segments.

The design has already been licensed by NXP, Texas Instruments and STMicro, all of which will launch products during next year. As well as greater data processing capabilities, they will support functionality such as high quality audio at low cost, in devices like headsets.

The UK company, eyeing a $15bn industry, says that the M4 will enable ARM licensees to compete with standalone microcontroller firms like Atmel and Renesas.

ARM has three ranges of processor cores, all of which will be updated during the coming 12-18 months. The Cortex-A range is for apps processors in phones and other devices; Cortex-R is the real time line; and Cortex-M goes even more deeply into embedded applications, being designed for microcontrollers. This simplified, cost sensitive design uses only one instruction set, Thumb-2, while the 'A' and 'R' ranges also run ARM and Thumb instruction sets. ARM has only 5% of the microcontroller market.

Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.