ARM Holdings hopes to improve how handhelds and cell phones access memory and run video with its new chip architecture unveiled at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, Calif. The v6 architecture contains new multimedia instructions, which will greatly improve video playback, said Director of Research John Rayfield. Memory performance will improve by approximately 20 percent, he added.
The company also announced its PrimeXsys wireless platform, which combines an ARM processor core with a clock and other necessary, yet basic, silicon that licensees would have to add anyway. ARM does not manufacture chips. Instead, it licenses its intellectual property to other companies, which then sell ARM-based chips under their own names. Although the architecture was announced, samples of actual chips won't arrive until mid-2002. Commercially, chips based around the v6 design will hit the market in the beginning of 2003.