ARM is shifting focus a bit, doubling down on wearables and other internet connected devices like refrigerators and washing machines. The "internet of things" is going to be a major area of growth for chipset manufacturers like ARM. The British company wants to make sure they are out in front for this opportunity. ARM is opening a new design center in Taiwan to focus on their ARM Cortex-M processors with the specific purpose of getting them into wearables and other connected devices. These chips are perfect for devices that require low power consumption but still need to be able to get online in some capacity.
ARM's CEO Simon Segars said, "Close proximity to key semiconductor and ecosystem partners and high-caliber local engineering talent makes Taiwan an ideal location for us to expand our CPU design activities. The new design center will have a particular focus on the development of ARM Cortex-M processors which are the market-leading design choice for IoT products. Establishing a new, world-class CPU design team in Taiwan will allow us to work even more closely with key regional partners seeking to accelerate this market."
The new design center should be opening before the end of 2014. Taiwan is thrilled with this news, of course. The design center will bring in more jobs and revenue for the area. Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology and their Ministry of Economic Affairs both released statements to that effect.
ARM chips are designed to be low-power and energy efficient. This also reduces the amount of heat that the chips put off. This makes ARM chips a good fit for smaller devices like wearables and the internet of things. ARM chips have been used in netbooks and Chromebooks, and while there is a trade off in raw processing power, it's one that manufacturers are willing to make in order to extend battery life and reduce heat. ARM chips are used in smartphones and tablets too, and come in 32-bit and 64-bit configurations. The ARM architecture is supported by most desktop and mobile operating systems, including Linux, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS.