Muscle chip strength leaves ARM shouldering meaty profit
High-end RISC cores boost $773m revenue headline
ARM, the eponymous designer of the chip architecture, had a stonking 2011 with revenue and profits up as it tightened its hold on both embedded and generic computing.
Revenue for the last quarter of 2011 was up by more than 20 per cent on the previous year, to £137.8m, while profit before tax jumped more than twice that percentage to £69m. For the whole of 2011 the numbers are very similar, revenue hitting £491.8m ($773m) and profit topping £229.7m ($362m), rather better than analysts had predicted.
Those numbers come on the back of 2.2 billion ARM-powered chips being sold globally in 2011, but equally important is the proportion of high-end silicon shifted, which generates bigger royalties than ARM's basic processor cores that are found embedded in white goods.
ARM, which is still based in Cambridge, licenses its RISC processor designs to fabs including Qualcomm and Samsung. ARM chips appear in just about every mobile phone and tablet computer, including the iPhone, but the older designs also pop up in everything from washing machines to talking toys.
So when pundits, and politicians, talk about the "internet of things" most of those things will have an ARM processor embedded inside them.
All of which generates licence fees for ARM, but it's the high-end chips that bring in the headline numbers. Once Windows 8 rolls out, the companies licensing ARM's blueprints will be able to compete with Intel on a level playing field, as Microsoft's new OS will happily run on either platform - which can only increase the number of ARM processors being produced.
Device manufacturers love ARM as it gives them a choice of suppliers - a phone maker can buy ARM chips from Samsung, Qualcomm or half a dozen other licensees, a factor which is just as important as the fabled power-sipping circuits from ARM's eggheads. ®
7.85 billion chips, not 2.2 billion
"Those numbers come on the back of 2.2 billion ARM-powered chips being sold globally in 2011"
That's the Q4 results, not the full year:
"Q4 revenue came from the sales of about 2.2 billion ARM technology-based chips, the highest-ever number of ARM-processor based shipments."
ARM shipped 1.85 billion in Q1, 1.9 billion in Q2, 1.9 billion in Q3, and now 2.2 billion in Q4. That's 7.85 billion for 2011 in total.
Two reasons to care about Windows on ARM
1) If Microsoft can define an ARM platform standard in the way that PC99 and so on were defined and resulted in reasonably compatible base platforms for x86 PCs, and if system builders implement the ARM/MS standard widely, it makes ARM even more attractive. Which would be good.
2) If the MS-defined standard includes cryptographically secure booting so you can only boot Windows easily (or at all), then the opposite applies. Which would not be good.
Windows on ARM is of very little interest, it's what it brings (or may bring) with it.
So what happened next Paul
Looking at to day I have a feeling you are speaking about Linux.
"With a uniform OS API and code written almost entirely in high-level compiled languages, there is no problem porting an application to any particular processor, it's nothing new and no big deal."
is about Linux not Windows only it is the low-level-high-level compiled languages that do the trick.
Funny really how this high-level or high-level-low-level or high-low-level makes no sense unless you skip the "high-low-level" rubbish and speak about the language used.
Also you seem to be totally mixed up with porting an OS or porting an application.
But never mind, also the apple must have dropped on your head accidentally.