Tencent Technology News, almost all mobile phone and tablet processors in the world use ARM architecture and chip design solutions provided by ARM. Unlike Intel, ARM does not manufacture its own mobile phone processor, but instead licenses the solution and technology to different mobile phone chip manufacturers.
According to the latest news from foreign media, on July 15, ARM announced a new licensing fee model for chip design and technology licensing. Foreign media pointed out that as more devices access the Internet, ARM is paying more attention to the pursuit of a larger customer base. .
Earlier, Japan's Softbank Group spent more than $30 billion to acquire ARM and become its new owner. ARM has consistently licensed chip designs and technologies to companies such as Qualcomm, Apple and Samsung Electronics, which use these technologies to develop their own smartphones and other device chips. The technical license provided by ARM has greatly reduced the difficulty for external vendors to develop their own mobile chips.
In the past, ARM required customers to choose a specific chip design and pay a license fee in advance, which could take a one-time multi-million dollar to use, and then charge the license fee after the chip was put into production.
But for chip companies, the final design that is ready to be sent to the foundry can take years to complete, which allows ARM customers to pay large prepayments long before the chip actually begins shipping.
On Tuesday, ARM announced a new charging model that allows chipmakers to get a three-quarters of the company's technology and chip design portfolio at a lower one-time cost. Subsequent, the license fee and royalty paid to ARM will only take effect when the chip is ready for production and shipping begins.
Dipti Vachani, general manager of the ARM and IoT chip business, said the change was driven by a growing customer base. ARM has communicated with some of the mature chip companies that know which technologies they want to license.
She said that newer manufacturers such as automakers and industrial equipment companies now want to design their own chips, and often need to conduct design experiments before they know which chips to produce.
According to the new charging plan, chip makers need to pay $75,000 a year if they use a design solution from ARM. If they pay $200,000 a year, they can get an unlimited number of chip designs. Authorization fees and royalties are only payable when the chip begins production.
Vacani said: "The reason we do this is because we have seen tremendous changes in the ecosystem, and there are many new entrants and new levels of experimentation. “The total cost of the new fee model and the traditional model will be comparable,” she said. The shift is mainly related to the time the customer pays.
Bob O'Donnell, director of TECHnalysis Research, said that some of ARM's most powerful design solutions, such as the computing core that powers the flagship smartphone, will not be available through the new model, but it It does provide software tools for ARM design chips, which may also attract new customers.
He said: "In the past, you basically promised to produce some chips before you can use them. Now you can experiment with these tools. & rdquo; (Tencent Technology Review / Cheng Hao)