Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IoT, wearables adoption boosts ARM earnings

Iain Morris
April 30, 2014
 
UK-based chip designer ARM says rising interest in Internet of Things and wearable-device technologies helped it deliver impressive growth in sales and pre-tax profits for the first quarter of the year.

Reporting results for the three months ending in March, the company said revenues were up by 10%, to £187.7 million ($315.4 million), compared with the same period in 2013, while pre-tax profit rose by 9%, to £97.1 million.

In a statement, ARM (Cambridge, UK) said that 11 of the 26 processor licenses it signed in the first quarter were for Cortex-M class processors used in microcontrollers, smart sensors and Internet of Things and wearable technologies.

ARM also cited details of other tech players’ ARM processor-based product developments in recent months, including Oracle’s (Redwood City, CA, USA) introduction of Java SE Embedded, which targets Java at ARM-based Internet of Things devices, including the Raspberry Pi community development board.

According to a report from ZDNet, Simon Segar, ARM’s chief executive, said that Cortex-M chips “can be found in most of the Internet of Things and wearable devices that have been announced to date”.

“We are now seeing the second generation of wearable and Internet of Things devices: they are well thought through in terms of design have good build quality of hardware and provide easy to use software services,” said Segar, as quoted by ZDNet. “This is still a very fragmented end market but with many of the chips going into these devices being based on ARM the benefits of our ecosystem make it easier for developers to create new products.”

In total, the company says that some 2.9 billion ARM processor-based chips were shipped in the first quarter, 11% more than were shipped in the first quarter of 2013.

ARM faces strong competition in the nascent IoT sector from US chipmaker Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA), which has also begun to make increasing reference to its IoT activities in earnings reports.

Discussing its own first-quarter results, Intel said that IoT revenues had grown by 32% between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014, to $482 million.
 
 
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