ARM in talks with Globalfoundries on chip production plan


Wed, Sep 30, 2009 - Page 11

ARM Holdings PLC, the UK chip designer whose products are used in Apple Inc’s iPhone, is in talks with Globalfoundries Inc about semiconductor production.

The company plans to add manufacturing partners as it expands its businesses beyond mobile phones, Kevin Smith, ARM’s vice president of marketing, said yesterday.

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi investment firm Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) said it planned to buy Singapore’s Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd for S$2.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) and would merge Chartered Semiconductor with Globalfoundries to create a rival to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and United Microelectronics Corp (聯電), both are from Taiwan.

Smith said ARM is working with Freescale Semiconductor Inc, Sharp Corp and Pegatron Technology Corp (和碩聯合科技) to make processors for mini-­notebook computers. The firm aims to capture 15 percent of the mini-­notebook market next year, he said.

Pegatron is a wholly owned contract-manufacturing unit of netbook pioneer Asustek Computer Inc (華碩).

Sales of so-called netbook or mini-notebooks that feature a screen size between 5 inches and 10 inches, will almost double next year to 37 million computers from 25 million, outperforming the overall PC market, which is projected to climb 12 percent, Tracy Tsai, a PC analyst at researcher Gartner Inc said by telephone.

ARM, based in Cambridge, England, designs chip cores used by Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and Texas Instruments Inc.