Motorola Licenses ARM's Chips

Motorola has licensed UK microchip developer ARM's 32-bit processor architecture which will allow them to make and sell ARM processors. Chips based on the ARM architecture are already in far more devices than ones designed by Motorola and this seems to be an admission that ARM chips are at least as good as Motorola's own designs, if not better. Palm has already stated that at some point in the future they will be stop using Motorola's Dragonball chips and switch to ARM processors. Motorola may have decided to switch in order to remain Palm's supplier.

ARM cores are noted for their excellent combination of high performance, small die size, low power consumption, tight code density, and multiple supply sources. Instruction set compatibility between processor families promotes design reuse and reduces software development time.

Motorola will continue to make their own PowerPC, M-CORE, and ColdFire families of 32-bit embedded processors.

Motorola initially plans to introduce systems solutions for wireless applications based on the ARM architecture. These are expected to be introduced over the next 12 months and include chipsets, software, development tools, and reference platforms to let manufacturers quickly bring new wireless products to market.

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Not if, but when

Dan Urquhart @ 12/8/2000 10:24:47 PM #
The question about ARM chips in Palms is not if we need more power, but when. Anything less than a smooth transition with at least partial backwards compatibility would be a nightmare.


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