ZYRA home page //// COMPUTERS //// CPU Page //// SITE INDEX

The ARM Chip

Also see RISC OS

The ARM Chip is a computer processor (cpu) which was derived from the good things Acorn did as a sequel to the BBC Computer. Sorry I said on some previous edition ARM had been bought-out by Intel! (That was what someone had told me a while ago). I must admit I had some doubt about it, as the processor architecture of the ARM chip is RISC which is completely counter to the ways of Intel. RISC is Reduced Instruction Set Computer, a type of fast and compact processing which is entirely in contrast to the idea of having a big processor with a fan on top and a very unorthogonal instruction set that's compatible with early IBM 8086 machines!

Anyway, ARM is an independent company and quoted on the FTSE 100. Here are some helpful comments people have written so we can get this right...

Intel do not own ARM. ARM Ltd (FTSE 100 listed) are still independent and
I believe outsell Intel and AMD put together when you take into account all the
manufacturers that make their chips under license. Intel own a license to
manufacture and develop the StrongARM - they "inherited" it when they
bought Digital Semiconductor (and are developing the XScale from it). If
you've got a modern mobile chances are it'll have an ARM in it. Engine
management systems often have ARMs these days too. ARM is the real success
story from the Acorn Group.

And another comment...

On your Makers of processors page you say, with respect to Intel, that it
also owns ARM. It does not, ARM designs processors which are made by many
licensed makers. Intel obtained the rights to the Strongarm when it took
over Digital. Strongarm was a variant of an ARM chip. Intel has an
agreement with ARM re the joint development of Strongarm (now Xscale). Intel still
pays royalties to ARM which is a totally independent company.

Secondly, the asynchronous ARM was not developed by Intel at all but by
Steve Furber at Manchester University in conjunction with ARM (which is not part of Intel).

(Actually on that last bit, I did not say ARM was developed by Intel; I said it had been bought-up by Intel (which was not true)).


Given the value of ARM shares and the diversity of its shareholders coupled
with how well it is performing, (apart from Q3) I think it would be major
major news in the computer world if Intel had purchased enough shares to take
control of ARM.

For an excellent and interesting overview of ARM activities visit
<http://acorn.cybervillage.co.uk/armnewsindex.stm> or for an excellent quick
coverage of RiscOS, networking and items of general computer interest go up a
notch to <http://acorn.cybervillage.co.uk/> (shutting down? oh shucks!) and look at the news section top
left of the page.

Your comments are welcomed! It's nice to get things right. Be in touch! e-mail

More ARM Chip links...