ARM’s Monopoly writes about “a company that controls more than 80 percent of its segment of the cell phone market and has 40 percent of the digital camera market”:

Now that Sony Ericsson has adopted ARM chips for its phones, more than 80 percent of the wireless handsets on the market run on processors based on ARM designs, said Mike Inglis, the company’s executive vice president of marketing.

Chips based on the ARM designs have been incorporated into high-definition televisions by four of the five largest digital TV manufacturers. They’re being used by several network equipment makers, camera makers and others, and Apple Computer has put them in its iPod.

“Seven hundred-and-eighty million ARM processors were shipped on the planet last year,” Inglis said. In Japan, someone came up with a toilet with an integrated ARM-powered MP3 player, while someone else has designed a fireman’s glove with a built-in ARM-based walkie-talkie.

A new ARM processor design, code-named Tiger, is expected to come out in silicon in 2006. It should raise handset speeds to 1GHz–well past the speeds available today.

ARM doesn’t make the chips–it licenses the designs to Texas Instruments, Intel and other companies, which pay ARM licensing fees and royalties. Despite getting whacked by the chip industry downturn, ARM’s revenue and profits are climbing again.

Recently, the company has begun to expand, Intel-like, and colonize components that connect to its processors. It has designed a signal processor that will help compress or decompress data such as video files: The first customer announcement will be made in a few weeks. In addition, ARM-designed graphics chips are set to appear in phones in about a year.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.