Microsoft, ARM Expand Licensing Agreement - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
News
7/23/2010
10:02 PM
50%
50%

Microsoft, ARM Expand Licensing Agreement

Licensing the entire microprocessor architecture may enable the software giant to enhance research and development opportunities for mobile phones and devices based on the market-leading ARM chips.

Microsoft has licensed the entire ARM architecture, giving the software maker deeper access to the microprocessor designer's technology.

Microsoft has been an ARM licensee since 1997, but the latest deal, announced Friday, is different in that gives the company access to the entire instruction set used by ARM processors. ARM chips are used in the vast majority of the world's mobile phones. Companies typically buy licenses to access particular ARM processors. Microsoft currently offers operating systems on the ARM architecture, including Windows Embedded and its mobile OS for cellular phones.

However, the latest deal places Microsoft among the handful of companies that ARM has identified as licensees of its entire instruction set, which describes the processors capabilities and how it manages memory and other subsystems in order to perform computing tasks. Other such licensees include chipmakers Infineon, Marvell and Qualcomm.

Microsoft declined to discuss why it needed to expand its access to ARM technology. "We are not sharing further details beyond what you see in the (press) release," a company spokeswoman said in an email sent to InformationWeek.

In the statement, K.D. Hallman, general manager of Microsoft, said, "With closer access to the ARM technology we will be able to enhance our research and development activities for ARM-based products."

Those products could include mobile devices beyond just mobile phones. ARM technology drives Apple's iPad, which is expected to jumpstart a new category of web-connected, entertainment-focused tablet-style computers. Such computers are expected from Acer, Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other computer makers.

However, ARM will face touch competition from Intel, which is expanding its line of Atom processors for such devices. Atom chips today are mostly used in inexpensive mini-laptops and netbooks.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Success = Storage & Data Center Performance
Balancing legacy infrastructure with emerging technologies requires laying a solid foundation that delivers flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. Learn what the most pressing issues are, how to incorporate advances like software-defined storage, and strategies for streamlining the data center.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll