While some chipmakers (like AMD) are seeing their business decline, others like ARM are enjoying a massive boom. DailyTech reports ARM saw its third-quarter revenue increase by 25 percent, much more than the IP core license industry's average of 4 percent. The British chip designer pulled in a revenue of £144.6 million ($230.36 million) and a pre-tax profit of £68.1 million ($108.5 million).
Most (smart)phones contain at least one ARM processor, and recently the company also benefitted from the booming tablet market. Unlike many other chip firms, ARM does not produce full-fledged SoC designs, the company merely licenses its architecture and makes an average of 4.5 to 4.9 cents in royalty fees off each chip sold.
While many partners merely leverage its instruction set and system-on-a-chip optimization IP, ARM has also been quietly growing its intellectual property core licensing business. ARM sells GPUs (Mali) and CPUs (the Cortex-Axx series) to third-party chipmakers, which can then incorporate those units into their designs.
A survey of 17 analysts by The Financial Times showed an expectation of £144.63M ($230.41M USD) for the revenue and a pre-tax profit of £67.4M ($107.4M USD). ARM hit the revenue mark almost precisely £144.6M ($230.36M USD), while beating the profit with a deliver pre-tax result of £68.1M ($108.5M USD).
Shipments of partner-licensed ARM Cortex-A cores rose from 5 percent of the total ARM-architecture chips sold, to 9 percent, on the back of growing smartphone/tablet consumption. Royalty revenue for Cortex-A now accounts for 35 percent of ARM's total royalties, with the chip architect tacking on seven new Cortex-A licensees for the quarter. ARM also signed three new Mali licensees.