ARM - How has it dominated?

Article: ARM's Race to Embedded World Domination
By: Cliff Shak (, November 10, 2000 5:27 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
I liked your column about the ARM and its history. The processor doesn't get much press yet as you pointed out, it leads in units shipped. But one thing you sort of glossed over was how the ARM is starting to take over the high volume embedded processor market. Do you have much visibility into that area?

I used to be a software developer for VLSI Technology working in their wireless group. I remember back in the early 90s when Intel with its 186/88 and Motorola with its 683xx variants dominated the embedded processor market. It was tough to get anyone to consider using an ARM in anything.

But as semiconductor technology moved along and product volumes in such things as cell phones began to pick up, low power and low cost without the loss of horsepower became important. I remember our marketing guys beating the MIPS/mW drum for a long time before people started to listen. Slowly, die size and the ability to embed the processor in an ASIC was important. And that is when the ARM really started to take off. I've been told that the ARM is in something like 5 out of 6 cell phones now. That wasn't true a few years ago. And I see companies like Qualcomm switching over to the ARM recently.

I still don't see the ARM in small volume designs. Intel and Motorola still seem to dominate there. But when it comes to volume, power consumption, and embedding on an ASIC, one usually sees an ARM.
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ARM - How has it dominated?Cliff Shak2000/11/10 05:27 PM
  ARM - How has it dominated?Paul DeMone2000/11/11 11:45 AM
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