Cirrus Logic adds ARM9 to cope with WinCE

Cirrus Logic adds ARM9 to cope with WinCE
David Manners Cirrus Logic will soon announce that it has added a second ARM microprocessor licence. The ARM9 core will be added to the ARM7 core which Cirrus licensed from the UK microprocessor developer in 1993. Cirrus believes that the ARM9 will be the preferred processor for Windows CE type applications in palmtop computers, organisers, PDAs and, particularly, set-top boxes. According to Cirrus, the company has ‘aggressive plans’ for the ARM9 but this does not include tweaking the core. Nor will Cirrus reveal when it intends to put the ARM9 onto a 0.25?m process despite having access to the technology via its manufacturing joint venture with IBM called Micrus. The US firm recently put its ARM-based work into a separate division called the Embedded Processor Division. It contains a business unit which has shipped three million embedded ARM cores to over 20 customers. The biggest single application has been modems. The thinking behind the formation of the division is that Cirrus has to change its corporate focus from the computer industry to the consumer industry. Cirrus argues that the PC market is saturated at 35 per cent in the US and 25 per cent in the UK, and that consumers are turning away from the over-complicated, quickly-obsolescent PC and now want devices for specific functions like smart phones, InternetTV, two-way pagers and Network PCs.


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