ARM Announces Major New Licensee, Is it Apple?
9to5mac points to a recent ARM announcement that the company has secured a major architectural licensing deal with an "unnamed OEM" (original equipment manufacturer). This broad architectural license allows the manufacturers to develop their own implementations of the ARM processor and has been issued very few times over the years. The name of the licensee has not been officially announced.
During today's financial results conference, the CEO of ARM explains why a company might want this sort of license:
"Some handset manufacturers want to have more control over the design of their handset, including the components within it, than others. And it's as simple as that. And the ARM business model offers one that level of control, if that's what one wants to do and one has the technical resources available to do it," said East.
EETimes' Peter Clarke believes that Apple is the unnamed licensee. The iPhone reportedly contains as many as five ARM processor cores inside of it from multiple vendors. Apple's recent acquisition of P.A. Semi brought its founder and CEO Dan Dobberpuhl into Apple. Dobberpuhl led the team at Digital Equipment that developed the StrongARM processor using a similar architectural license from ARM. Steve Jobs has also revealed that they had specific plans for P.A. Semi's acquisition to develop system-on-chips for future iPods and iPhones.