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Arm expands offerings in IoT, virtual hardware, and 5G

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Arm is releasing new chip design offerings in the internet of things (IoT), virtual hardware, and 5G sectors.

Cambridge, United Kingdom-based Arm designs the architecture that other licensed chip makers use to build their chips. Arm likes to make it easier for those licensees to come up with their applications and create a foundation for an IoT economy.

So the company said its Arm Total Solutions for IoT now delivers a full-stack solution to significantly accelerate the development and return-on-investment for IoT chip products. And Arm Virtual Hardware removes the need to develop on physical silicon, enabling software and hardware co-design and accelerating product design by up to two years, the company claimed.

Arm said a new ecosystem initiative called Project Centauri will drive the standards and frameworks needed to grow serviceable markets and scale IoT software innovation.

“Through a radical change in how systems are designed, Arm is uniquely positioned to fuel a new IoT economy that rivals the shape, speed, and size of the smartphone industry’s app economy,” said Mohamed Awad, vice president of IoT and embedded at Arm. “Arm Total Solutions for IoT changes the way we’re delivering key technology to the entire ecosystem and demonstrates our significant and ongoing investment in the software that will empower developers to innovate for global impact.”

Virtual hardware designing

Arm Virtual Hardware brings modern agile software development methodologies like continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), DevOps, and MLOps to IoT and embedded platforms without having to invest in complex hardware farms. The new cloud-based offering delivers a virtual model of Arm’s Corstone subsystem to enable software development without the need for physical silicon.

With accurate models of Arm-based chip designs providing mechanisms for simulating memory, peripherals, and more, development and testing of software can now occur before silicon availability. This ultimately reduces a typical product design cycle from an average of five years to as little as three years. Arm says Corstone, its validated and integrated subsystem, has accelerated the time to market for more than 150 designs from the company’s silicon partners.

Chip market growth

To date, Arm partners have shipped more than 70 billion devices based on the Arm Cortex-M series. That shows no sign of slowing, as chips for IoT are expected to have an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 15% through 2026, according to analyst firm Mordor Intelligence.

Meanwhile, Arm also said the majority of 5G infrastructure deployments will be powered by Arm-based chips. Commercial 5G wireless networks are now live in more than 60 markets around the world. On top of that, the number of 5G connections is expected to reach 692 million globally by the end of this year.

With support from key players in the industry, Arm unveiled its new Arm 5G Solutions Lab in partnership with Tech Mahindra, a big provider of engineering services. The Arm 5G Solutions Lab will focus on accelerating innovation for network infrastructure by providing a place for Arm’s hardware and software ecosystem partners to come together and demonstrate end-to-end 5G solutions in a live test environment.

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