Semiconductor Value Chain

ARM to Open Cortex-M CPU Design Center in Taiwan

02 June 2014

Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc has announced that it plans to open a CPU design center in the Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan. This will be ARM's first CPU design center in Asia although the company has opened development centers in India.

The Hsinchu center is expected to open at the end of 2014 although ARM did not indicate how many jobs it expects to create there.

"Close proximity to key semiconductor and ecosystem partners and high-caliber local engineering talent makes Taiwan an ideal location for us to expand our CPU design activities," said Simon Segars, chief executive officer of ARM, in a statement. "The new design center will have a particular focus on the development of ARM Cortex-M processors which are the market-leading design choice for IoT products. Establishing a new, world-class CPU design team in Taiwan will allow us to work even more closely with key regional partners seeking to accelerate this market."

ARM already has some Taiwan-based competition in the form of 2005 startup Andes Technology Corp., which has disclosed plans for a licensable low-power processor with flash non-volatile memory aimed at wearable computing devices, IoT (Internet of Things) and other flash-memory based requirements.

Taiwanese authority officials welcomed ARM's announcement. "Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is playing a leading and strategic role in the global market,” said San-Cheng Chang, minister of science and technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. “The ministry has been working closely with Taiwan’s technology industry to foster incubation of advanced technologies and nurture growth of the talent pool and we are pleased to witness ARM establishing its first CPU design center in Taiwan, endorsing Taiwan’s strong talent and well-established industry chain."

"Economic development remains at the top of the government’s policy agenda, MOEA [Ministry of Economic Affairs] has endeavored to drive Taiwan’s industry transformation to be innovative on top of our excellent manufacturing strength," said Tyzz-Jiun Duh, deputy minister of the ministry of economic affairs, Taiwan.

In October 2013 ARM announced the opening of a design center in Noida, North India to focus on physical IP design in specialized areas such as planar and FinFET CMOS. That development was complementary to ARM's Bangalore design center, which also focuses on physical IP.

In addition, ARM is acquiring Duolog Technologies Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland), a developer of design configuration and IP core integration technology. Financial terms of the deal have not been revealed, but the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year.

ARM said the deal will enhance its position in providing complex system IP including debug and trace. Duolog, founded by CEO Ray Bulger in 1999, is best known for its Socrates EDA tool. This is an Eclipse-based system for the standardization and centralization of IP meta-data. ARM said it intended to use Socrates within its own sub-system design flow Socrates has been used for over 100 successful tape-outs and ARM said it will continue to support Duolog's Socrates licensee base.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Small Systems with Big Functionality for the IoT

UK Joins SigFox's Global IoT Network Play

Intel Launches Low-Power Processors for Wearables, IoT

Startup Preps OS for the Internet of Things

Freescale, Oracle Team on Secure Platform for IoT

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