ARM chips are used in a wide range of devices from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and wearables. Some of the major companies using ARM chip designs include Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Huawei, MediaTek, and many more.
Apple has been using ARM-based processors designed by its in-house chip division Apple Silicon in various products including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, and more recently in Mac laptops and desktops.
The latest Apple Silicon chips include the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra which power the latest MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Studio desktop computer. Apple moved from Intel x86 chips to its own ARM-based Apple Silicon chips for better performance and power efficiency.
Samsung uses ARM-designed processor cores in its Exynos application processors which power many of its flagship Galaxy smartphones and tablets globally. The Exynos chips used in flagship Samsung devices are often customized with additional Samsung-designed CPU cores along with ARM cores. Samsung also uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips with ARM cores in many mid-range devices.
Qualcomm is one of the biggest licensees of ARM chip designs and its Snapdragon platform powers a majority of Android smartphones and tablets globally. Qualcomm’s mid-range and high-end Snapdragon application processors feature customized ARM-based Kryo CPU cores along with Adreno GPUs. Qualcomm Snapdragon chips can be found in popular devices from Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Motorola, and more.
Nvidia uses ARM processor designs for its Tegra system-on-chips (SoCs) targeted at smartphones, tablets, automotive computers, and gaming devices. While Nvidia has exited the smartphone processor market, Tegra chips continue to power the Nintendo Switch gaming console and some cars with automated driving features.
Nvidia is also developing ARM-based chips for data centers such as the Grace CPU made in partnership with ARM.
Nvidia combines ARM and Nvidia GPU IP to power Drive autonomous vehicle platforms for automated driving and in-vehicle infotainment. On the client side, Nvidia leverages ARM in Orin system-on-chips designed for next-gen automated driver assistance systems and robotics.
AMD utilizes ARM processor designs and architectures for a range of products spanning embedded systems, servers, and client devices. In the embedded space, AMD leverages ARM Cortex-A5 cores in R-Series system-on-chips aimed at industrial automation, robotics, networking and medical imaging applications.
For servers, AMD offers EPYC datacenter processors integrating ARM Cortex-A57 cores for high performance computing and cloud applications. On the client side, AMD has used ARM CPU cores in past products like the Amlogic S905X chipset for smart TVs.
AMD also plans to employ ARM CPU and GPU IP in new semi-custom chip designs targeted at gaming consoles, laptops, autos and other embedded applications requiring high efficiency.
Huawei designs its in-house Kirin application processors for high-end smartphones and tablets. The Kirin chips utilize ARM’s Cortex CPU and Mali GPU cores along with Huawei’s own additions. Due to US trade sanctions, Huawei had to stop production of Kirin chips and is now using Qualcomm Snapdragon processors in its smartphones.
MediaTek is another big licensee of ARM chip designs and it powers affordable and mid-range Android smartphones and tablets. MediaTek smartphone chips such as the Dimensity and Helio series are based on ARM Cortex cores paired with MediaTek’s Arm Mali GPUs. MediaTek is among the top smartphone chipset vendors globally, especially in the budget smartphone segment.
Microsoft adopted ARM chips for its Surface Pro X tablet with built-in LTE connectivity. The Surface Pro X runs on Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2 chips which are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors with ARM CPU cores. Windows 11 also supports ARM for the first time, enabling ARM-powered laptops. Lenovo has also launched ARM-based Windows laptops powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chips.
NXP licenses ARM cores for its i.MX application processors targeted at industrial and automotive applications. NXP i.MX chips can be found in a wide range of products including industrial robots, networking equipment, car infotainment systems, instrument clusters, and advanced driver-assistance systems in vehicles with Level 2+ automation.
Broadcom is a leading ARM licensee powering connectivity chips used in smartphones such as WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. Broadcom’s wireless chips are used in iPhones and high-end Android phones. Broadcom also combines ARM CPU cores with custom logic for SoCs targeted at broadband modems, set-top boxes and networking equipment.
Marvell licenses ARM’s processor cores for its Armada application processors and wireless chips targeted at networking, storage, server, automotive and enterprise datacenter applications. Marvell’s ARM-based chips can be found in high-end routers, datacenter gear, smart TVs, NAS filers and other connected devices that need powerful integrated processors.
Freescale was one of the early licensees of the ARM architecture and made PowerQUICC processors based on ARM cores for routers, switches and other networking equipment. Freescale also used ARM cores in its i.MX application processors targeted at embedded and industrial applications. Freescale is now part of NXP after it was acquired in 2015.
Texas Instruments employs ARM Cortex-M and Cortex-R series cores across its microcontroller and processor families targeted at industrial automation, motor controls, embedded vision, IoT and communications infrastructure. TI’s Sitara AM57x processors aimed at high-end industrial applications feature ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore CPUs.
Renesas licenses ARM’s Cortex-M series microcontroller cores for its devices aimed at industrial automation, motor control, and IoT applications. Renesas also offers integrated SoCs based around ARM Cortex-A cores for infotainment, instrument clusters and connectivity systems in cars.
Amazon’s cloud computing subsidiary AWS offers ARM-based Graviton processors that power the company’s cloud servers. The latest Graviton3 processors feature up to 64 high-performance ARM Neoverse CPU cores running at up to 2.6 GHz. AWS is rapidly adding Graviton instances across its data center footprint.
Ampere offers 80-core ARM-based Altra and 128-core Altra Max server processors aimed at cloud computing applications. Microsoft Azure started offering cloud instances based on Ampere’s 80-core Altra processors in late 2020. Ampere is emerging as a key challenger to Intel and AMD in the data center market.
Fujitsu uses ARM processor cores across several of its product lines including mobile phones, tablets, servers and even high-performance supercomputers. Fujitsu servers meant for cloud and enterprise applications employ ARM-based A64FX processors which also power the world’s fastest supercomputer Fugaku.
STMicroelectronics (ST) has been a longtime ARM licensee and strategic partner, leveraging ARM processor and GPU cores across multiple product lines. ST utilizes ARM Cortex-M series cores extensively in its broad portfolio of microcontrollers serving applications like industrial, automotive, IoT, and more.
ST also combines ARM cores with its own IP to produce solutions like its STM32 family, one of the most popular microcontroller lines with over 10 billion units sold. For applications requiring higher performance, ST offers the multi-core Arm Cortex-A series-based STM32MP1 chips for industrial and IoT uses. ST also uses ARM Mali GPUs in its graphics processors aimed at smart automotive displays and other embedded GUI needs.
ST further employs ARM cores in its LoRa wireless ICs for low-power wide-area connectivity. With over 100,000 employees and nearly 9% of its 2021 revenues invested in R&D, ST continues to be a leading global semiconductor company that incorporates ARM’s ubiquitous CPU and GPU designs into a wide range of products across embedded, industrial, automotive and other markets.
Infineon Technologies extensively utilizes ARM cores and architectures across its product portfolio spanning automotive, power management, Internet of Things, security and more.
Infineon employs ARM Cortex-M microcontroller cores in various 32-bit MCU families like XMC4000 for industrial applications. For higher performance needs, Infineon offers ARM Cortex-A series based AURIX microcontrollers serving the automotive market.
Infineon also licenses ARM Mali GPUs for select MCU products requiring graphics acceleration. In the IoT segment, Infineon manufactures WiFi, Bluetooth and combo connectivity chips integrating ARM cores. Infineon’s OPTIGA Trust security solutions leverage ARM SC300 secure enclave processors for cryptographic acceleration.
Recently, Infineon and NXP collaborated on an ARM-based central compute platform for automated driving. With its deep expertise in chip integration, Infineon complements ARM cores with custom logic to deliver optimized embedded and automotive solutions.
Analog Devices (ADI)
Analog Devices (ADI) leverages ARM processor cores across various products targeting industrial, automotive, communications infrastructure, healthcare and consumer markets. For embedded applications, ADI incorporates ARM Cortex-M cores widely in its precision microcontroller portfolio spanning series like ADuCM30xx and ADuCM4x50.
ADI employs multi-core ARM processors in its advanced integrated SoCs built for instrumentation, aerospace, and defense applications. For wireless, ADI utilizes ARM processor IP in its integrated radio platforms and RF transceivers serving 5G infrastructure.
In automotive, ADI combines ARM CPU and GPU cores with its mixed-signal expertise to produce solutions for autonomous driving, infotainment and cockpit systems.
ADI also integrates ARM security IP like TrustZone in its secure microcontrollers for fintech and anti-counterfeiting uses, and leverages synergies with ARM to deliver high-performance embedded processing solutions.
Cypress Semiconductor leverages ARM processors and architectures broadly across its embedded and IoT product lines spanning automotive, industrial, consumer electronics, and other segments.
For basic microcontrollers, Cypress incorporates ARM Cortex-M0/M0+ cores in its S6E1 and PSoC 1 families serving cost-sensitive applications. For higher performance, Cypress offers the PSoC 6 MCU series featuring an ARM Cortex-M4 core with DSP and floating point capabilities.
Cypress also employs ARM Cortex-R cores purpose-built for automobile functional safety applications in its Traveo II automotive MCUs. With capabilities in WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and touch sensing, Cypress provides various IoT solutions integrating ARM cores for smart home, wearables, smart city and Industry 4.0 use cases.
Xilinx has extensively utilized ARM technology across its All Programmable FPGAs, SoCs and adaptive compute acceleration platforms (ACAPs) spanning data center, networking, automotive, aerospace/defense and other segments.
Xilinx employs ARM Cortex-A class processors for applications requiring both hardware programmability and high-performance software-based processing. For edge devices, Xilinx combines FPGA fabric with Cortex-A CPUs and machine learning processors in its Zynq and Zynq MPSoC families.
In data centers, Xilinx offers Alveo accelerator cards with quad-core ARM processors assisting the FPGA-based compute engine. Xilinx also incorporates ARM CPU and GPU cores in its Versal ACAPs targeted at cloud, 5G and AI applications needing adaptable hardware-accelerated performance.
Nordic Semiconductor is a leading fabless supplier of wireless connectivity solutions for Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) and ultra-low-power applications. The company has extensively utilized ARM processor IP to power its broad portfolio of Bluetooth LE system-on-chips (SoCs).
Nordic’s nRF52832, nRF52833 and nRF52840 SoCs aimed at Bluetooth wearables and peripherals integrate ARM Cortex-M4F cores with Bluetooth 5 connectivity. For more advanced solutions, Nordic offers the nRF53 Series featuring an application MCU with ARM Cortex-M33F core plus a network MCU based on Cortex-M33 core for high throughput.
Nordic also employs ARM Secure Core SC300 in its nRF5340 chip for enhanced security. Additionally, Nordic provides cellular IoT solutions like the nRF9160 SiP integrating an application MCU powered by a Cortex-M33 core. With its deep expertise in ultra-low power wireless, Nordic continues to leverage synergies with ARM to deliver cutting-edge connectivity and IoT products.
Microchip Technology extensively uses ARM processors and architectures across its broad product portfolio covering 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers, wireless connectivity solutions, FPGAs and more.
For basic microcontrollers, Microchip offers the SAM D10/D11 Series featuring an ARM Cortex-M23 core optimized for small footprint and low power. The SAM L10/L11 microcontrollers incorporate Cortex-M23 cores with trust and security extensions.
For higher performance, Microchip provides 32-bit SAM E70/S70/V70/V71 MCUs powered by ARM Cortex-M7 cores with DSP capabilities. Microchip also licenses ARM Mali GPUs for select microcontrollers like the SAMA5D2 targeting human machine interface applications.
Microchip also offers hybrid FPGAs like the SmartFusion2 incorporating ARM Cortex-M3 cores for flexible hardware programmability. For wireless, Microchip provides WiFi networking solutions integrating ARM processors for IoT connectivity. With capabilities spanning MCUs, mixed-signal, security, wireless and FPGA fabric, Microchip delivers comprehensive embedded and IoT solutions leveraging synergies with ARM.
Sony has extensively leveraged ARM processor IP to power various consumer electronics products including smartphones, digital cameras, gaming consoles and smart televisions.
For smartphones, Sony’s flagship Xperia 1 and 5 models incorporate the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform featuring ARM-based Kryo CPU cores and Adreno GPU for premium performance.
In mirrorless cameras, Sony’s Alpha series employs custom image processing engines integrating ARM cores for rapid autofocus, object tracking and enhanced photography features. For gaming, the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles utilize AMD accelerated processing units incorporating ARM CPU cores paired with Radeon graphics.
Sony TVs powered by the Cognitive Processor XR chipset integrate ARM cores to enable intelligent upscaling, contrast enhancement and immersive sound capabilities. With system integration expertise across diverse segments, Sony continues driving innovation in consumer electronics and entertainment by harnessing the capabilities of ARM-based solutions.