ARM's profit rises on smartphone demand

Demand for smartphones has spurred ARM's profits up almost 50 percent on a year ago.The Cambridge-based chip designer reported revenues of £120.
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

Demand for smartphones has spurred ARM's profits up almost 50 percent on a year ago.

The Cambridge-based chip designer reported revenues of £120.2m and pre-tax profits of £55.8m, up 20 and 38.8 percent on the previous year, in its results for its third financial quarter of 2011 on Tuesday.

"In mobile, ARM is benefitting from an increase in the Cortex-A family chips used in smartphones and tablets," ARM's chief executive, Warren East, said. "In fact, Cortex-A shipments into mobile devices grew 300 percent year-on-year."

East pointed to the success of dual-core Cortex-A9 chips, noting that a "recent market analyst" report found that the chips could be found in 14 percent of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2011. Other A-series chips have seen success in smartphones, like the Cortex-A8 which sits inside the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet.

The company shipped 1.9 billion chips in the quarter, with one billion going into mobile devices like phones and tablets and 900 million going into embedded devices, East said.

ARM's main rival for low-power chips, Intel, is expected to bring out a new range of low-powered Atom processors next year, with the Medfield chip anticipated to appear inside some Android phones.

East batted a question over Intel's entrance into Android aside, saying "we would contend that our architecture is more appropriate and will continue to be more appropriate [for Android] and product launches like the Big.Little A7 launch that we did last week continue to demonstrate our leadership in that area".

Big.Little is ARM's technology targeted at high-end mobile devices, which pairs a high-powered Cortex-A15 with a low-powered Cortex-A7.

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