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ARM expands big-little licensing model

Posted: 19 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:big-little? processors? licensing?

ARM has begun implementing an updated licensing model that allows partners to have extensive access of its big-little processing technology, which utilises multiple processors developed for different energy and performance budgets.

Under the terms of a single use design licence, ARM partners can licence the individual components required to enable the development of a big-little system, including the ARM Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors, CoreLink Cache Coherent Interconnect (CCI-400), Generic Interrupt Controller (GIC-400) and the AMBA Domain Bridge (ADB-400), all as a single package.

ARM partners licensing the package can also licence the Mali-T600 GPU to provide industry-leading graphics performance to the platform, or ARM POP Technology for core-hardening acceleration to aid efficient implementation of their design.

The move towards an enhanced licence model was triggered by the successful adoption of big-little processing by 17 partners, including Samsung, Renesas, CSR, Fujitsu and MediaTek. This single-use design licence will help ARM partners to develop a single big-little system, with the option to take a perpetual implementation licence in the future.

ARM has had steady success in selling its pre-developed processor cores but changing market dynamics could still prove challenging (see Analysis: Reinventing 'big-little'). Perhaps a new licensing programme can assist ARM in keeping its big-little idea rolling along. (See Will ARM stay on top of core licensing?.)

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