ARM is the most popular microprocessor architecture, and chips based on its various cores are at the heart of the tens of billions of devices sold annually. The company said that in Q4 2020 alone, the ARM ecosystem expanded to a record 6.7 billion – an average of 842 chips produced per second and more than x86, ARC, Power and MIPS combined.
ARM’s licensed Cortex-A, Cortex-R, Cortex-M and Mali series power thousands of processors, controllers, microcontrollers, and GPUs from more than 1600 companies worldwide. As the world goes digital quickly, demand for all types of chips is greater than ever, and ARM solutions are suitable for a wide range of applications, and it is easy for manufacturers to obtain a license.
Of course, the most advanced ARM Cortex-A series general purpose processor cores are getting the most media attention because they are used in virtually all smartphones on the market today. However, the most widely used ARM cores are actually Cortex-M microcontrollers, which can be used in almost any modern device – from a thermometer to a spacecraft. In the fourth quarter alone, 4.4 billion low-power Cortex-M microcontrollers were sold.
“Record 6.7 billion ARM-based chips shipped last quarter are a testament to the incredible innovations of our partners: from the technologies inside the world’s number one supercomputer to the smallest ultra-low power devicesRene Haas, president of ARM IP Products, said. – Looking ahead, we can expect an even wider diffusion of technology ARMbecause in 2020 we issued a record 175 licenses, many of which with new partners. “
Almost all modern PCs are based on x86 processors (not counting Windows 10 ARM, new Macs, and various exotic systems). But x86 isn’t even the second most popular architecture after ARM. According to Gartner, in 2020 world shipments of PCs amounted to 275 million. If you add servers, there will already be more than 300 million processors, and taking into account game consoles, NAS, communication and other equipment, we can talk about 350-360 million x86 chips. In most cases, these are high performance processors for demanding applications.
At the same time, about 1.5 billion products are shipped annually, based on the architecture of the Synopsys ARC processors. Just last year, Synopsys unveiled its all-new DesignWare ARC HS5x and HS6x IP processor families for high-performance embedded applications such as SSD controllers, automotive control and infotainment systems, wireless communication chips, wireless control and home networking.
MIPS architecture is another hero of the processor and microcontroller market. When Imagination Technologies acquired MIPS in 2012, the company reported that it had shipped over 3.6 billion MIPS-based chips since 2000. Such chips are used in game consoles or supercomputers, but various microcontrollers, consumer electronics SoCs, communications equipment, and various low-power devices still use these chips. Hundreds of millions of products are sold annually. But since MIPS is barely evolving, it rarely makes headlines today.
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