- According to sources cited by the Financial Times on Sunday, this is Arm’s “most advanced” chipmaking initiative to date. Kevork Kechichian, a former executive at Qualcomm Inc. and NXP Semiconductors N.V., is reportedly leading the initiative’s team.
- According to reports, the test chip being developed by Arm is not a semiconductor construction element like a CPU core, but rather a fully functional processor.
According to a new report, Arm Ltd. is developing a test chip to demonstrate the capabilities of its technology to customers.
According to sources cited by the Financial Times on Sunday, this is Arm’s “most advanced” chipmaking initiative to date. Kevork Kechichian, a former executive at Qualcomm Inc. and NXP Semiconductors N.V., is reportedly leading the initiative’s team. Kechichian was in charge of developing Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon mobile processors.
Modern processors comprise of various components. A central processing unit, for instance, consists of multiple processing cores and the interconnects that link them together. Data-encrypting cybersecurity-optimized circuits are additional modules found in several chips.
Arm is a prominent provider of designs for semiconductors. Its primary emphasis is designing individual chip components, such as CPU cores and interconnects, rather than entire semiconductor designs. Customers of Arm combine these components to create customized semiconductor products.
According to reports, the test chip being developed by Arm is not a semiconductor building block like a CPU core but rather a fully functional processor. Arm has created such processors in the past to aid in the product development efforts of its consumers. However, the new chip is distinguished from previous products in several ways.
Existing Arm test processors are primarily designed for developers. The processors are used to familiarize developers with the company’s technology and to prototype new applications. In contrast, the prototype chip Arm is reportedly developing is primarily intended for semiconductor manufacturers.
The company’s stated objective is to demonstrate its processor designs’ capabilities to consumers. However, some in the semiconductor industry are reportedly concerned about the possibility of the prototype device becoming a commercial product. In principle, such a product could compete with Arm’s customers’ processors.
According to sources close to the corporation, it has no intention of selling the test chip. In addition, the company will not license the underlying design to other businesses.
According to reports, Arm’s relatively sizable “solutions engineering” team is developing the test chip. It is believed that the team is liable for several additional responsibilities. Specifically, it has reportedly been tasked with enhancing the efficacy and security of Arm’s processor designs and making them more accessible to developers.
The company reportedly plans to use its test chips in laptops, mobile phones, and other devices. The processing requirements of laptops and mobile devices differ significantly. Therefore, chipmakers typically develop separate processors for each device type.
The fact that Arm’s test chip is designed to power a variety of devices suggests that it may be available in numerous versions. That is a common practice in the semiconductor industry. Qualcomm, for example, offers several versions of its Snapdragon mobile chip, each with a different level of performance and power efficiency.