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ARM revenue up 21 percent, beyond analyst estimates

Q4 2011 revenue and performance numbers see noticeable gains with no signs of slowing down in the smartphone and tablet market

Although hidden in the shadows behind the more popular x86 architecture for general consumer desktops, the ARM architecture has been king in the mobile electronics arena. This could not have been truer last year as essentially all big name smartphone manufacturers had been releasing products sporting an ARM core with no intentions to stop in the near future.

As a result, one would expect ARM to do exceptionally well in its latest revenue numbers. Lo and behold, ARM Holdings announced a 21 percent revenue climb during the Q4 2011 period year-over-year. This is compared to its Q3 2011 performance where revenue was up approximately 34 percent year-over-year. Total fourth quarter revenues, according to The Guardian, sits firmly at £138m ($218 USD) for the England-based company.

The increase in sales of iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Samsung Galaxy products could be singled out as one of the larger contributors to the growing success of ARM. Most if not all of these systems are powered by an ARM core at heart, including the Apple A4, A5, Nvidia Tegra 2, Tegra 3, Samsung Hummingbird, Exynos, TI OMAP and Qualcomm Snapdragon.

Furthermore, ARM CEO Warren East expects the architecture to expand to as much as 40 percent of the mobile market in a couple of years, including notebooks.

People are talking about ARM technology being deployed into those traditional Intel strongholds of computing and we would be targeting about 40 percent of the world’s mobile computers by 2014, 2015,” said East in an interview with Bloomberg. “You can see Intel getting into those sorts of products but by similar token at CES a couple of weeks ago, you saw ARM in most of the mobile computers that were there.

The ARM multi-core Cortex A9 processor is currently the most popular amongst smartphones and tablets today. Its successor, the Cortex A15, could be available in some shape or form sometime this year. Intel, however, is expected to really push its mobile Medfield Atom platform into smartphones and tablets this year as well.


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Allen Ngo, 2012-02- 2 (Update: 2012-07-18)