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News ARM unveils 16nm Cortex-A72, Mali-T880 designs

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 4 Feb 2015.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Wonder if this is a attempt by ARM to regain some control over the CPUs in use. As the amount of custom CPUs using arm instruction sets is growing.
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I think you perhaps misunderstand how ARM operates. ARM doesn't make CPUs. Not a single one. Hasn't done since it was called Acorn RISC Machines. ARM designs CPUs, into blocks of what it calls IP (Intellectual Property.) That IP is then licensed to third-party companies, who make CPUs. A company is free to license just the CPU IP and provide their own GPU technology (like Nvidia does, for example), license just the CPU IP and go elsewhere for the GPU technology (like anybody who releases an ARM SoC with embedded Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPU does, for example), license both CPU and GPU IP (as a large number of companies do), or license just the GPU IP (which I can't think of anybody doing - Mali is too tightly integrated into the CPU IP for that - but is theoretically possible.)

    So, it's not accurate to say "the amount of custom CPUs using arm [sic] instruction sets is growing," because they're all custom CPUs using the ARM instruction set architecture. The figure has been at 100% for years. There's no such thing as an 'official' ARM processor, 'cos ARM doesn't make processors. If you want an ARM processor, you either license the IP from ARM and build it yourself or you buy an off-the-shelf chip from a manufacturer who licensed the IP from ARM and built it themselves. That's how ARM works: they're an IP company, not a fab.

    I once interviewed Ian Drew, ARM's chief marketing officer, about this. As far as ARM is concerned, they're happy to sit in the background. They don't care if their name never gets mentioned (at the time, the freshly-launched Galaxy SII was a perfect example: the ARM-based Exynos processor, built by Samsung using ARM's IP, was described simply as a "dual-core processor" with no mention of ARM anywhere on the packaging) because they don't sell to end-users, they sell to manufacturers. As long as the manufacturers know who they are (and, given ARM has an overwhelming majority in their target markets, they do) that's all they need.
     
    Last edited: 6 Feb 2015
  4. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Stop posting such tempting articles ! That's very mean. I can't decide which one I want, but lets dace it: "I want 'em all" :D
     

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