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September 1, 2014

50th licensing agreement gives ARM a reason to celebrate

ARMv8-A technology attracts big names in tablet and smartphone market.

By Ben Sullivan

British chip expert ARM is celebrating the signing of the fiftieth licensing agreement for its ARMv8-A technology.

A total of 27 companies have signed agreements for the technology which aims to build industry momentum for greater compute capability across applications. ARMv8-A includes support for 64-bit computing.

ARM sells blueprints for processor designs, in turn receiving royalties for every chip sold.

According to ARM, some of the technology’s users include all of the top 10 companies who sell application processors for smartphones, 9 of the top 10 application processor companies for tablets, and 4 of the top 5 companies that provide chips for consumer electronics.

Noel Hurley, general manager of the processor division at ARM, said: "ARMv8-A technology brings multiple benefits, including 64-bit capability alongside improved efficiency of existing 32-bit applications.

"Tablets and smartphones are quickly replacing PCs for many tasks and the ARMv8-A Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53-based chips developed by our Partners support this transition with important enhancements in performance and efficiency. These ARMv8-A platforms are also fully backward compatible and will efficiently execute over a million 32-bit apps and extensive software assets already in use."

The company began developing its ARMv8-A architecture design in 2007. First announced in November 2011, the cumulative 50 licenses are now spread across ARMv8-A architecture and ARM Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors.

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In July, ARM announced a 9% rise in its second-quarter profits, pinning its growth on processor licensing despite a slowdown in smartphone sales.

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