CHIP DESIGNER ARM saw its profits rise 22 per cent to £61.9m in the first quarter, thanks to increased sales and growing profit margins.
ARM has ridden the smartphone and tablet boom to become one of the most important firms in the semiconductor industry, and while other firms struggle the chip designer has posted first quarter revenue of £209.4m, a 13 per cent increase from the same period last year. ARM's profits grew to £61.9m, a 22 per cent increase from last year, while its gross margin grew to 44.5 per cent.
According to ARM, 1.1 billion processors based on its architectures were shipped in the first quarter, the same number as a year ago. While ARM-based processor shipments in smartphones and 'mobile computers' stagnated, there was a 15 per cent increase in chips shipped in consumer and embedded devices to 800 million units.
ARM CEO Warren East said, "In the first quarter of 2012 we saw continuing demand for technology licenses driven by a remarkable variety of end markets from highly efficient servers to energy-sipping sensors. ARM's royalty revenues continued to outperform the overall semiconductor industry as our customers launch their products into new markets and gain market share within existing markets."
ARM is expected to have a big 2012, with Microsoft's Windows 8 supporting its architecture for the first time. Although Intel is making its push into the smartphone market, there are questions about the viability of the x86 architecture to meet the low power draw requirements of mobile devices without making significant investments in process node shrinkage. µ