British chip designer ARM is working on its latest semiconductor to showcase the power and capabilities of its designs, reports the Financial Times. ARM will work with manufacturing partners to bring the new chip to life, according to people briefed on the move.
To that end, the company has appointed a new “solutions engineering” team to lead the development of its prototype chips for mobile devices, laptops and other electronics. The team is led by industry veteran Kevork Kechian, whose previous stints include Qualcomm, where he managed the Snapdragon SoC and technology teams and oversaw the development of over 100 SoCs.
According to the report, the company is looking 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, which it began working on in the past six months, is “more advanced” than ever before. While the company has produced test chips in the past for software developers to familiarize themselves with its new designs, its new efforts are broader than ever.
Based in Cambridge, England, ARM has been around for over three decades now. Its chip designs underpin many 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 own chips based on the 18A process technology.
ARM’s chip-making efforts have sparked fears that it could become a commercial player in the future if its chip turns out to be good enough, the report said. However, people close to the company insist that ARM is only working on a prototype and has no plans to license or sell the product. In effect, doing so would move the company away from its “neutral model” where it can sell designs to almost all chipmakers without competing directly.
Source: Financial Times (paywall)