ARM develops smartphone legs

British semiconductor outfit ARM reported its fourth quarter unaudited results and declared it outperformed the semiconductor industry as a whole.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 were down six percent at $140 million compared to the same quarter in the previous year, while licence revenues declined by 15 percent year on year to stand at $44.9 million – that’s nearly a third of the group revenues. Royalty revenues declined by two percent to $74.6 million, that’s 53 percent of group revenues.

But CEO Warren East (pictured, not full size) claimed that ARM continued to outperform the semiconductor business generally and that the company had maintained normalised operating margins over 30 percent.

He pointed to a number of developments that were helping ARM. Six processor licences had been signed for mobile phone and computing applications. ARM had increased its market share in the consumer electronics and embedded sectors.

GlobalFoundries licensed ARM’s 28 nanometer physical IP, while Samsung licensed ARM’s Mali graphics processor for next gen consumer products.

East said: “The company is well-placed… as leading semiconductor manufacturers are increasingly designing ARM technology into their products, and as ARM technology becomes ever more pervasive in… smartphones, digital TVs and microcontrollers.  Recently, Infineon and STMicroelectronics have announced the intention to use, for the first time, ARM processors in their smartcard and digital TV/set-top-box product lines respectively.”