Texas Instruments eyes up ARM 10

Cambridge-based chip designer ARM today confirmed it is in talks with up to half a dozen major semiconductor players, including Texas Instruments, about licensing its latest ARM 10 technology.
Written by Chiyo Robertson, Contributor

ARM, sometimes described as the 'chipless chip company', licences processor designs to semiconductor partners but does not actually make products itself. 64 percent of its revenue comes from OEM partners who make systems for powering mobile phone to disc drives. Texas Instruments is the largest maker of mobile phone semiconductors.

There has been a surge of interest in the company's latest high-performance, 32-bit ARM 10 design which was launched last Autumn. But Angela Au, head of investor relations at ARM, said that discussions with partners included other chip families, such as the ARM 9e, too.

Au said: "At any one time we will be talking to 5 or 6 partners, including Texas Instruments, about possible deals. That's what our business is about. " AU added that the talks may or may not result in deals being struck.

"ARM 10 is the latest in our processor design family. Our chip designs are rather like car components, like the engine. They end up in various cars," said AU. If ARM 9 is the family car engine, ARM 10 is for the Ferrari.

Last month, Lucent became the first company to license ARM 10 and plans to embed the microprocessor technology into its system-on-a-chip line which will power devises from wireless phones to broadband wide-area networks. Lucent has licensed other core processor technologies from ARM including ARM7 -- the companies most popular design -- and ARM 9e.

It is believed that news of potential partnerships helped lift stock by around 304 pence or 42 percent in the past week, although it fell nearly 6 percent, or 60 pence, today.

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