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ARM is developing its own prototype chip, says report

ARM working on its own chip

British chip designer ARM is working on its own advanced semiconductor to showcase the power and capabilities of its design, Financial Times reports. According to people briefed on the move, ARM will work with manufacturing partners to bring the new chip to fruition.

To that end, the company has appointed a new "solutions engineering" team that will lead the development of its prototype chips for mobile devices, laptops, and other electronics. The team is headed by industry veteran Kevork Kechichian whose previous tenures include Qualcomm, where he managed the Snapdragon SoC and Technology teams and oversaw the development of over 100 SoCs.

As per the report, the company wants to attract new customers and fuel growth after its initial public offering (IPO) later this year. Various industry executives told the publication that ARM's latest chip, on which it started working in the past six months, is "more advanced" than ever before. While the company has developed test chips in the past for software developers to get familiar with its new design, its newest efforts are more extensive than before.

Based in Cambridge, England, ARM has existed for more than three decades now. It's chip designs form the roots of a number of leading SoCs, including Qualcomm's Snapdragon, and Apple's A-series. It recently partnered with Intel, where the Intel Foundry Services division will enable ARM-based chipmakers to build their chips based on a 18A process technology.

ARM's chipmaking efforts have sparked fear that it might become a commercial player in the future if its chip turns out to be good enough, the report says. However, people close to the company insist that ARM is only working on a prototype and doesn't have any plans to license or sell the product. In fact, doing so would deviate the company from its "neutral model" where it can sell designs to almost all chipmakers without being a direct competition.

Source: Financial Times (paywalled)

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