Cambridge superchip designer, ARM Holdings, has laid the foundations for a blockbusting 2011 after seeing full year profits to end-December rocket 73 per cent to $167.4m (£103.7m) on revenues 29 per cent higher at $631.3m (£391.3m).
Q4 revenues were 28 per cent ahead at $179.6m (£111.3m) and pre-tax profits 47 per cent up at $47.6m (£29.5m).
CEO Warren East said: “ARM continues to sign licences with influential market leaders in an increasingly digital world and as the industry chooses ARM technology in a broadening range of electronic products, it further drives our long-term royalty opportunity. The growth in licensing and royalty revenues, throughout 2010, has combined to deliver our highest ever annual revenues, profits and cash generation.
“2011 will bring exciting opportunities and challenges as ARM enters competitive new markets and we are well positioned to succeed with leading technology, an innovative business model and a thriving ecosystem of partners.”
Q4 brought a fresh surge of adoption of ARM chips; 35 processor licences were signed for a range of applications including smartphones, mobile computers, servers and smartcards and Microsoft announced that future generations of its Windows operating system would support ARM-based chips.
Some 1.1 billion ARM-processor based chips were shipped into mobile devices but ARM experienced growth beyond mobile into consumer electronics and embedded products.
Another 0.7 billion ARM-processor based chips were shipped into everything from smart-meters to solid-state drives.
ARM was encouraged by a growth in outsourcing of new technology:-
• Physical IP: Freescale became ARM’s first subscription licensee for physical IP at an advanced technology node; and a foundry licensed a royalty-bearing platform of physical IP.
• Graphics: Eight licences for Mali™, ARM’s advanced graphics processor
East said that it was generally expected that, after a strong recovery in 2010, the semiconductor industry would see more typical growth levels in 2011.
“With ARM well positioned to continue to gain share, we expect group dollar revenues for the full-year to be at least in line with market expectations,” said East.
Cambridge tech cousins ARM and CSR have signed a major licensing agreement for the ARM Cortex-A5 MPCore and Cortex-A9 MPCore multicore processors.
CSR intends to target the advanced technology towards strengthening its leadership position in providing location-aware SoC platforms for In-Vehicle Navigation and Infotainment and Portable Navigation Device (PND) markets and for new, emerging location-aware consumer device markets – especially in the fast growing economies of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) countries.
Kanwar Chadha, chief marketing officer, CSR, said: “This licensing agreement expands our existing ARM processor portfolio and is a clear demonstration of our commitment to enhance consumer experience with our platforms by investing in leading edge IP.
“We are now positioned to fully respond to market needs by exploiting the total potential of ARM powered system-on-chip solutions for next generation consumer devices and automotive systems.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: ARM CEO Warren East