Last month, Microprocessor Report’s Linley Gwennap published an article titled “10 Billion Chips Use Licensed CPUs.” That’s billion with a “B.” The size of that number might surprise you, but the handset market alone consumes about a billion of those chips each year. The numbers tart to climb if you add in consumer products such as digital TVs and set-top boxes, network routers and switches, and hard-drive controllers.
However, the major growth in licensed CPU core has been in the embedded segment. That’s microcontrollers. Licensed CPU cores, especially ARM cores, have created a renaissance in the microcontroller market and transformed it from a playing field littered with proprietary processor architectures into one that’s increasingly focused on one company’s architectures: ARM. There are now about 20 microcontroller IDMs and fables vendors shipping ARM-based parts.
The net result is that ARM cores ship in approximately 78% of the 10 billion chips based on licensed processor architectures.
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