Mobile as the nexus: Warren East, ARM


Warren East, CEO, ARM.

Warren East, CEO, ARM.

ARM’s CEO, Warren East, presented this evening at an ISA invited conference on Mobile As The Nexus!

East said the industry is in a transformational mode. Mobile devices are now connecting ubiquitous environments, cloud computing, services and storage. We have the opportunity to reshape the value chain and create growth. Rapid pace of product revolution demands choice and re-use. Low power, low cost and differentiation drives innovation across markets. Scalable solutions enable smarter systems for expanding opportunities. East added that a flexible, diverse ARM ecosystem is evolving to enable new paradigms across new markets.

Focusing on the 2020 opportunity with ARM, he noted that ARM is growing into new markets and product categories. Today’s processors are driving shipments beyond 2015. All of this presents a tremendous opportunity for those who want to work with ARM.

Earlier, he said that currently, over 4 billion people were globally connected by ARM-powered mobile phones. Smartphones will leapfrog PCs in the developed world. Over 1.8 billion ARM processor cores were shipped in Q1-2011. Over 25 billion ARM based chips have been shipped so far. The table applications revenue is likely to top $15 billion by 2015.

There are over 850 ARM Connected Community partners, The ARM  Cortex family has now been licensed 186 times. ARM currently has 10 percent of the mobile computing market.

However, East cautioned that there is still some way to go! Around 5.1 billion people don’t have the Internet, 2.2 billion folks don’t have mobile phones and 1.4 billion of the global population don’t have electricity.

He highlighted the  connected world’s diversity. Opportunities in automotive are expanding — in airbags, dashboards, engine control, anti-lock braking and infotainment. So are the opportunities in smart TV expanding — in tuners, power management and application processors. Also, enterprise opportunities are expanding — in wireless, video/graphics, application processors and power management. Mobile phones are also presenting opportunities — in Bluetooth, SIM, GPS, power management, Wi-Fi, cellular modems, flash controllers, application processors, touchscreen controllers, etc.

The ARM Cortex A-15 presents the next wave of mobile computing. It has a role in virtualization for separation of personal and enterprise user environments, as well as connecting to many screens. New user interface (UI) paradigms are now using real-time use gestures and surroundings. Also, content and applications exist seamlessly in the cloud and in your devices.

The ARM Cortex R series presents real-time focus. Each mobile generation delivers more data and supports new protocols. Only ARM is said to have a dedicated range of real-time cores to address the demands of cellular modems. The new ARM processing families are able to meet the increasing performance needs.

The ARM Mali GPUs provide low power  graphics, thereby bringing desktop-class graphics to a range of screens. They are optimized for Android and driven with Open CL standard in mind.

ARM is also building smarter SoCs. The complexity is simplified by collaborative and integrated IP design. There is early engagement with the entire design ecosystem. The ARM Artisan processor optimized packs (POP) enables optimal performance or low power design.

As for the ARM Connected Community, Warren East said: “We are profitable if our customers are successful. The ecosystems are built and evolve over many years. The investments from the existing ecosystem can be re-used into new markets.”

Partnerships bring choice — most application processors in the market today use ARM Cortex A8, A9 or ARM v7a architecture — in single to quad cores. High performance video and graphics increase with the rise in the number of ARM Mali based products.

Similarly, diversity enables innovation. Scalability enables software re-use. For instance, the Cortex A-series and Mali graphics processor are suitable for application processors across a huge range of devices.

There are said to be opportunities across the spectrum, especially, a huge MCU opportunity! East predicted 150 billion total ARM chips by 2020.  There are business opportunities across the ecosystem, for example, providing apps, tools, tools to enable middleware, etc.

All of these are being driven by the Internet of things! East noted that the third era of computing is now upon us. ARM and its partners are well positioned for the next decade.

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