ARM strikes microcontroller licensing deals

ARM has announced two strategic partnerships in the microcontroller (MCU) market with an aim to strengthening ties and developing on the technologies.

A licensing deal with MCU firm NXP will see the company aim to expand and improve its existing range of microcontrollers.

The deal builds on an already close relationship, with NXP having shipped 100 million MCUs using ARM processors. 

One of the key elements of the deal will be to continue to advance the technology, with collaborative plans to focus on improving performance and energy efficiency in microcontrollers.

NXP already uses a number of ARM processors such as the Cortex-M0, Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 in its range of microcontrollers, such as the LPC1100 series which features what it claims is the industry’s lowest active power, with a footprint starting at 5mm2.

ARM also struck a deal with Fujitsu, which will seek to develop new technologies based on ARM’s Cortex processors.

As with NPX, the two have a strong history of collaboration, with a 10 year partnership leading to Fujitsu recently releasing its FM3 MCUs equipped with ARM chips back in November.

“Fujitsu Semiconductor is working to enhance its product appeal and boost its IP lineup,” said Corporate Senior Vice President Haruyoshi Yagi of Fujitsu Semiconductor.

“One of the major ways in which we are doing this is with this comprehensive license agreement we have signed with ARM.”

“This will allow our customers to select the ARM technology most suited for their application, and use a platform that combines it with other IP provided by us.”

“These platforms will use our proven design and authentication technology, meaning we will be able to achieve high levels of quality and functionality, as well as a dramatic reduction in LSI development time.”

The deal will see Fujitsu sharing its product roadmap, leading to collaboration rights from the specification setting onwards in order to look towards future challenges.