East also explained why the decision for him to leave ARM has been made
ARM takes a long-term business view with the company
planning for 2020 and beyond, he said, and it is important that the CEO is around
to see those plans through to fruition. "I would have been in the job 20
years or more by then and that would be too long," East told the
conference call. "If you're going to make a change, let's do it when the
business is healthy. And ARM is very healthy right now," he said.
no doubt Segars is the obvious and safe choice qualified to continue
the collaborative, ecosystem-building approach of ARM's first two CEOs,
Sir Robin Saxby and Warren East. On the same conference call Segars said
there would be no dramatic changes of strategy at the company. But
Segars' appointment does mean that there is no influx of different
culture to help ARM address the next decade, which is bound to be
different to the last one.
Sir Robin's time – the 1990s – was
marked by the emergence of ARM in mobile phones. In the 2000s Warren
East has presided over the deeper penetration of ARM cores into more embedded applications but accompanied by meteoric success in
smartphones and tablet computers.
The challenges for Segars'
period of tenure will be how well ARM can penetrate into computing at
the performance end of the market – servers and supercomputers – and
into the tiny, autonomous "leaf-node" systems labeled the Internet of
So no change of culture, outlook or execution is expected
from Simon Segars but maybe that's the point. ARM's business model is
working well and there was no need to go outside to find a CEO. And
perhaps that is the starkest contrast to Intel.
challenge for Segars will be a more personal one. East has been a safe
pair of hands to carry ARM forward after the ebullient, salesy approach
of Sir Robin Saxby. When you look at numbers like 8.7 billion ARM-based
chips delivered in 2012 it is clear that East will be hard act for
Segars to follow.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.