Texas InstrumentsThe following document was posted to the usent newsgroup comp.sys.acorn on 3rd June 1993
At last the news servers going again. Heres part 2 of the ARM & TI story from Electronics Weekly. Again its been ocr'd by a PC.
ARM has entered a new market by signing a deal with Texas Instruments.
The deal with Texas Instruments, the sixth largest semi- conductor manufacturer in the world, is not only important for the market accep- tance of the ARM, it also links the ARM embedded microprocessor core to a market leading digital signal processing (DSP) supplier. TI intends to use the ARM core in a new family of real-time embedded control products for the growing automotive electronics market.
That's a new market for ARM and one which it is well suited to, being a compact and robust 32-bit Risc microprocessor technology which does not cost an arm and a leg. "This agreement with Texas Instruments," said Robin Saxby, managing director of ARM, "will accelerate the acceptance of the ARM architecture as the predominant processor for new applica tions requiring the best com- bination of performance over power consumption and performance over cost." TI is far and away the largest chip supplier to license the ARM architecture. VLSI Technology, the US ASIC specialist which founded ARM in 1990 with Acorn Computers and Apple, was the company's first manufacturer and licensee. Last year GEC Plessey Semiconductor (GPS) became the second licensee and in March Sharp became the first Japanese licensee.
The TI deal is different from previous l i c e n s i n g agreements in that it is designed to target the ARM architecture at a specific market, in TI's case the automotive market. It does not include ARM's standalone Risc chips which are already made by VLSI, GPS and in the near future Sharp.
It is a clever move which increases ARM's market presence without standing on the toes of strategically important partners. In theory the Risc processing market is large and diverse enough to keep everyone happy.
The low cost low power characteristics of the ARM have made it one of the contenders for the emerging market for low cost handheld computers, known as personal digital assistants (PDAs). The ARM610 is used by Apple in its Newton PDA.
A slimmed down ARM without cache, FIFO and memory management, the ARM60 is used in the consumer interactive compact disc systems developed by 3DO of the US.
GPS has been making both those Risc chips and the latest ARM250, the computer on a chip used by Acom Computer, since the middle of last year.
Like all Risc microprocessor designers ARM's strategy is to get its architecture adopted in as many applications as possible. VLSI and GPS are developing application specific prod- ucts based on the ARM6 core for mobile communications. data communications, videoprocessing and even smart cards. The TI deal now adds the important automotive electronics market to that list.
TI will use the ARM6 core in its customised DSP devices, but it will also incorporate the ARM6 in its Prism library of mixed analogue and digital circuit blocks. -The addition of a low power, low voltage ARM core,- said Tom Engibous, senior vice president of TI's semiconductor group, 'further strengthens our capabilities to deliver application specific derivatives for existing and emerging markets.'
Prism is at the centre of TI's bid to enter the automotive electronic market, and will be used to design real-time engine management systems.
It may have taken ARM three years to sign up its first four licensees, but it is just possible company has one or two more in the pipeline.
Its plans are now to identify and enter as many market segments as possible. The TI agreement is likely to set the pattern for the future of the ARM architecture.
From Electronics Weekly 26th May.