Arm reportedly developing its own prototype chip

The chip designer wants to show off what its designs are capable of

Arm, the company behind ARM chip designs used by several tech companies, including Apple, Qualcomm, MediaTek and more, is making its own chip.

The details come from a Financial Times report, which says Arm tasked its new ‘solutions engineering’ team with producing a chip to show off the capabilities of Arm’s designs. The team is headed by former Qualcomm executive and Snapdragon designer Kevork Kechichian. Work started about six months ago, and the Times reports that several industry executives told it that the design is “more advanced” than any other semiconductor produced in the past.

But before you get too excited, it’s worth noting that Arm reportedly doesn’t plan to sell or license the design. Given the company’s business model of licencing its designs to other companies, it makes sense that Arm doesn’t plan to sell its own chip.

Instead, it seems the company wants to show off what its designs can do, allowing it to break into other markets. Arm recently warned investors that it has a “significant concentration” risk — in 2022, 86 percent of Arm’s revenues came from just 20 customers. Losing a small number of customers could have a significant impact.

One clear market where Arm could break in would be PCs. Apple already uses ARM designs in Mac devices, but outside of a small number of Qualcomm-powered Windows PCs and Chromebooks, Intel and AMD still largely dominate. If Arm can prove its chips can compete (and if Microsoft can get its act together with Windows on ARM), we might see more ARM-powered PCs in the future.

Beyond that, the chip efforts could benefit consumers in other ways. The solutions engineering team is reportedly working on ways to improve performance and security in ARM chip designs. These improvements could eventually make their way into future devices.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: The Financial Times Via: Engadget