TAIPEI: British chip design firm ARM has predicted that its licensed products will comprise 50 per cent of the mobile PC market by 2015 as the company goes from strength to strength, although the company warned that its server business will take time to grow.
ARM president Tudor Brown outlined the firm's successes in the mobile computing market during a pre-show press conference on Monday, claiming that its designs now power over four billion smartphones alone.
Brown said that ARM's current 10 per cent share of the wider mobile PC market, including tablets, netbooks and other mobile devices, will reach 15 per cent by the end of this year and a whopping half of all devices sold by 2015.
The firm's success has been largely built on its lower power, energy efficient designs which are licensed to firms such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Samsung, and ship in the hugely popular iPad as well as most Android-based devices.
"I firmly believe tablets are changing the computing landscape forever," said Brown. "We've seen new operating systems from Google, RIM and soon Microsoft ... so we expect mobile PCs will grow and ARM's share will grow significantly."
The 25 billion ARM cores shipped so far will be dwarfed by the numbers the company intends to ship over the coming years, with opportunities in the server, microcontroller, high end computing, connected TV and even automotive spaces, he added.
Brown warned, however, that, despite much talk in the media about ARM's imminent entrance into the server space, it will take at least three or four years before the designs ship with "any volume" in this market.
"Servers will be important but I wouldn't want to think it will happen next year in any volume," he said. "We've been working on a clear set of objectives and it will be 2014/15 before we see any volume in that market."
Brown explained that its ecosystem partners are currently building "experimental servers to demonstrate the total cost of ownership".
"This is important because, as cloud computing grows, it has become apparent that the amount of energy wasted in servers is limiting their growth, so everyone is aware of the need for lower power servers," he said.
"It will take time to build the ecosystem, so we need to enable the hardware before we enable the software around it."
However, it is the microcontroller market, which enables machine-to-machine communication for the 'internet of things', that could be the biggest money-spinner for ARM.
Designs for these controllers will become the biggest selling of all ARM products in the future, said Brown, contributing to total ARM chip sales of 150 billion by 2020.
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