Arm to Create More Partnerships with Hyundai, LG, and Samsung

UK-based chipmaker Arm's logo

The head of the Korean unit of British chipmaker Arm said that the company seeks further business opportunities in Korea by creating more partnerships with major firms such as Hyundai, LG, and Samsung.

Hwang Seon-wook, the country manager of Arm Korea, said, “Korea’s conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG are some of our big customers since 1994, and we have good relationships with them.”  He added during a press conference in Seoul, “Arm will keep supporting them to continue to strengthen partnerships in Korea.”

The Cambridge-based company, established in 1990, is a leader in the global market of designing the architecture of mobile chips. The firm licenses its intellectual properties to other major companies, including Samsung Electronics, Apple, and Qualcomm.

Hwang stated that Arm is prepared to offer its affordable licensing program, Arm Flexible Access, to support the move by Korea to promote the non-memory semiconductor industry, also known as the system semiconductor industry.

Hwang said, “To design a chip, small companies have to spend a lot of money. This makes people who have their know-how and expertise in cheap designing, hesitate to kick off their own business. To help them, we recently introduced the Arm Flexible Access licensing program, which allows startups to use our chip designing architecture at a more affordable price.”

The government declared in April that it would cultivate the local fabless companies, which would design semiconductors and outsource the chip-making process to foundry companies and foundry businesses. These are types of contract-based chip manufacturers for companies that cannot afford their facilities. They are part of the semiconductor industry that is less affected by industry cycles and is 1.5 times bigger than the memory chip industry.

“Under the program, customers pay only $75,000 a year for a single chip. The intellectual properties available through this program include popular Arm-based processors, which account for 75 percent of Arm’s Coretex CPU licenses,” the country manager said.

Arm also revealed a new chip designing architecture for neural processing units (NPUs) used to accelerate graphics processing, and specializes in graphic processing units (GPUs) and executing machine learning algorithms.

The chipmaker unveiled display processing units, the Mali-G57 GPU, Ethos-N57, and Ethos-N37 NPUs and Mali-D37, that improves display processing capabilities.

Product manager of Arm, Stephen Barton, stated that compare with its predecessor Mali-G52, the Mali-G57 GPU offers 30 percent improved energy efficiency.

“The Mali-G57 delivers 30 percent better energy efficiency, 30 percent more performance density, and 60 percent improvement for machine learning. This is a leap in gaming performance and efficiency,” Barton said.

Jim Davies said its new NPUs would allow its customer companies to create low-power, high-performance neural processing chips for smartphones. Jim Davies is the vice president and general manager of the machine learning group at Arm.

The vice president also stated that the company is also partnering with a U.S.-based game engine maker, Unity Technologies, to help game developers produce games to run smoothly on hardware that utilizes the Arm architecture.

“We are expanding our partnership with Unity. This will enable Unity creators to improve Arm silicon performance in their native environment and further optimize the Unity engine,” Davies said.

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February 14,2020

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