ARM snaps up Artisan for Embedded Chips

Semiconductor design firm ARM is took a major leap into the embedded microprocessor space by acquiring Artisan Components, producer of embedded memory, standard cell, input/output, analog and mixed-signal components.

The estimated $913 million deal will extend ARM’s base of offerings to include a roster of digital, analog and mixed-signal components for building systems-on-chip (SoC) .

SoCs are growing in popularity because they hold all of the necessary hardware and electronic circuitry for a complete system. The building blocks are used widely in cameras, cellular phones, set-top boxes and PDAs. A basic SoC will include on-chip memory (RAM and ROM), the microprocessor, peripheral interfaces, I/O logic control, data converters and other components that comprise a complete computer system. Applications also include uses in nanotechnology and medical technology.

Jerry Ardizzone, ARM president of U.S. operations, told that his company’s IP portfolio had been somewhat limited to microprocessors. But with Artisan, ARM can offer one-stop design shopping for its 130 semiconductor manufacturing partners and Artisan’s 2,000 customers in semiconductor design and manufacturing, he said.

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