ARM Mali on track to power wearable tech

ARM's processor and security technology have been tapped to power Atmel silicon designed specifically for wearable tech and automaton factory solutions.

ARM Mali video and display technology has been licensed for use with Atmel's chips targeted at wearables and automated factory tasks.


Announced on Wednesday, the companies said that ARM intellectual property in the processor and security realm has been sold to Atmel. The US-based semiconductor firm intends to use ARM's technology by integrating it into silicon targeted at wearable devices and automated factory tasks reliant on image processing such as the identification of faulty products.

The license includes the ARM Cortex-A7 processor, ARM Mali-V500 video accelerator, Mali-DP500 display processor and ARM TrustZone technology.

Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of product groups at ARM said:

Atmel and ARM have a successful history of collaboration. That partnership continues to build with Atmel now expanding its ARM IP portfolio to include even stronger security and richer media processing technology that prepares the way for new and exciting products in emerging markets such as IoT, wearables and factory automation.

The ARM Mali-V500 and Mali-DP500 processors enable full HD resolution capabilities on a single core, which is useful for cost-effective applications. In addition, both processors are compatible with ARM TrustZone technology, which provides hardware-backed content security from download to display in products.

The firms say that by using Mali, Atmel's system-on-a-chip (SoC) products will have the capability to deliver UI functionality such as multi-layer composition as well as deliver a 60 percent reduction in system bandwidth for video playback.

"As IoT and wearable devices become smaller, more sophisticated and integrated, the SoCs used in the devices will need to offer more features and functionality in smaller packages," says Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of the microcontroller business unit at Atmel.

In ARM's second quarter financial statement, released this week , the chip maker reported pretax profit of £94.2 million, a nine percent rise year-over-year. The company's profit surge was largely due to an increase in processor licensing revenue within the quarter.