ARM pushes deeper into wearables with Taiwan design centre

ARM, the UK-headquartered mobile chip manufacturer, threw more weight behind its research into wearable device processors with plans to open its fourth global design centre dedicated to the emerging device sector.

The component manufacturer on Monday detailed plans to open a CPU design centre in Taiwan by the year-end. The facility is ARM's first in Taiwan, and will focus on the design, verification and delivery of ARM's Cortex series of processors for wearable devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), and embedded applications.

Simon Segars, chief executive officer of ARM, said the company chose to locate the facility in Taiwan because of the "close proximity to key semiconductor and ecosystem partners and high-calibre local engineering talent". He added that ARM's Cortex processors "are the market-leading design choice for IoT products," and said the design centre "will allow us to work even more closely with key regional partners."

San-Cheng Chang, Taiwan's minister of science and technology, said ARM's decision endorses the country's "strong talent and well-established industry chain."

ARM's mobile chips dominate the mobile phone market, being installed in at least 90 per cent of devices in the market, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Noel Hurley, deputy general manager of ARM's CPU Group, said the company sees opportunities for wearable devices in professional services including medical, security, and logistics, in addition to consumer applications, the Journal reported.

ABI Research recently predicted that wearable device technologies will become a core part of enterprise mobile enablement strategies. The company forecasts the market for enterprise wearables will grow at a CAGR of 56.1 per cent over the next five years, to hit a total value of $18 billion (€13.2 billion) by 2019.

The research company segments wearables into six categories; smart glasses, cameras, smart watches, healthcare devices, sports and activity trackers, and 3D motion trackers. It predicts healthcare devices, smart glasses, and smart watches will dominate enterprise purchases over the next five years.

IDC analysts in April predicted shipments of wearable devices will hit at least 19 million units in 2014, and grow at a CAGR of 78.4 per cent through 2018, when shipments are tipped to hit 111.9 million units.

For more:
- see ARM's announcement
- see this Wall Street Journal report

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