ARM aims to design wearable computer chips the size of ‘dust’
Earlier in the week we heard about British microprocessor designer planning to expand its operations by building a new ‘world class’ design facility in Hsinchu Taiwan. This is the area of Taiwan dominated by tech companies such as ASUS, Acer, TSMC and so on, most of them in and around the massive science park. ARM intends to open a facility in Hsinchu to complement its existing centres in the UK, USA and France.
The news was announced at the Computex event currently running in Taipei. However some further details about what ARM is developing were even more interesting than this new investment. We all know ARM is at the forefront of mobile processor designs and Intel is finding it very difficult to catch up. ARM CPUs deputy general manager Noel Hurley spoke about the mind boggling advancements the firm has in progress in order to keep ahead of the chip designing pack.
Chips as small as dust, consume nanowatts of power
Hurley is quoted as saying that ARM is designing chips for wearables and medical technology uses that are almost invisible to the naked eye and consume power levels measured in nanowatts. “They are like dust, you can scatter them around,” he said. Hurley went on to emphasise that the “weight and profile of the product is really important,” however battery technology lags behind to hinder miniaturisation efforts somewhat.
So the new ARM design centre in Taiwan will concentrate its efforts on these tiny power sipping processors that we are likely to find in the future wearable, medical and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These will initially be known as the ARM Cortex-M range.