ARM flexes licensing muscles in first quarter to lift sales 10%

Hot chips

Chip designer ARM saw a significant rise in revenues during the first quarter of 2014 by flexing its licensing muscles in a number of markets.

In a statement, the company revealed that sales rose 10% year-on-year to £186.7 million ($305.2 million), while profit before tax was up 9% year-on-year to £97.1 million ($89.4 million).

Cambridge-based ARM, whose chip designs can be found in around 95% of the world's smartphones, signed 26 processor licensees in the first quarter ending March 31.

Smart moves

Six of those were for Cortex-A processors used in smartphones, tablets and enterprise infrastructure applications. Five were for its recent ARMv8-A processors that include Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 CPUs, while four licenses were signed for its Mali graphics CPUs used in digital TV, mobile and embedded computing applications.

ARM's low-power, battery-life friendly processors are a good fit for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, which are set for an impending boom as anything from toothbrushes to walking sticks become hooked up to the internet.

Eleven of the ARM's licences signed during the quarter were for Cortex-M class processors used in wearable tech, micro controllers, smart sensors and IoT.

Earlier this year, Noel Hurley, Deputy GM of ARM's CPU Group, told TechRadar Pro that ARM's wide range of processor designs puts the company in a strong position in the wearables market.

Good start

ARM CEO Simon Segars described the quarter as a "good start" to the year for the company.

"Licences are a precursor to future royalty revenues," he said. "Our customers are signing licences with a view to designing RM technology into an increasingly wide range of markets from servers and supercomputers to embedded sensors and enterprise networking applications thereby underpinning ARM's future royalty opportunity."

ARM partners shipped 2.9 billion ARM-based chips in the first quarter of 2014, an 11% rise year-on-year.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.