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ARM, Actions ink license deal for 64bit tablets

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Actions Semiconductor? tablet? phablet? smartphone? 64bit chip?

Actions Semiconductor has signed a license agreement for the 64bit ARM Cortex A50 processor family, making it one of China's technology design companies to offer an ARM-based 64bit chip for tablet devices.

The iPad was the undisputed king of the consumer high-end tablet market until last year, but new Android-based devices such as the Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S are giving Apple a run for its money.

Many other tablet OEMs are looking to introduce high-performance 64bit tablets. Actions will start providing its first SoC in late 2014, making it easier for the Chinese company to develop high-end devices.

"Premium smartphones and tablets have become primary computing devices and that is driving strong demand for 64bit solutions," said Allen Wu, president of ARM Greater China. "Actions Semiconductor is a valued partner and we believe the combination of its expertise in low power SoC development with the ARM Cortex-A50 processor family and ARM POP IP is an exciting way of fulfilling this requirement."

According to the research firm IDC, global high-end tablet market shares for Samsung, Sony and other vendors are already growing at the expense of Apple. Having access to 64bit ARM Cortex A50 processors from Actions Semiconductor will enable more manufacturers to develop competing solutions in this lucrative segment of the tablet market.

"We believe this investment in 64bit architecture reinforces our position as one of the leading design houses in China providing leading-edge, high performance products at attractive price points," Actions CEO Zhenyu Zhou stated. "With the mobile industry rapidly migrating from 32bit to 64bit operating systems, we expect our next generation SoCs utilising this IP will allow us to compete more effectively in both the branded and whitebox segments of the tablet and OTT set top box markets."

IDC is forecasting a slowdown in the overall tablet market, but that will mostly affect the low-end tablets in the 7in and 8in segments, which face strong competition from large-screen smartphones. Tablets with 10in screens and larger will continue to have a strong demand, especially in the Asia Pacific market.

"Worldwide growth will continue, but emerging markets such as Asia Pacific will account for a larger per centage of the worldwide market going forward, and vendors playing in this market must prepare for this eventuality," noted Tom Mainelli, program VP for devices and displays at IDC. "Second, the rise of phablets, smartphones with 5.5in and larger screens, are causing many people to second-guess tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets."

- Pablo Valerio
??EE Times





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