The London-based company's results were a rare ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy market day, punctuated overall by lower corporate earnings and a weakening global economic outlook.

[Get a 10% discount on ARM TechCon 2012 conference passes by using promo code EDIT. Click here to learn about the show and register.]

Highlights from ARM included:
  • 29 processor licenses signed in the quarter.
  • 2.2 billion ARM-based ICs sold.
  • High-end momentum: one ARMv8 architecture license, one ARMv8 processor license and one Cortex-A15 processor license.
  • Three new customers for Mali graphics processor technology.
  • Royalty revenues in Q3 rose 25 percent year-on-year to $121.1 million, representing 53 percent of group revenues.
  • Total dollar license revenues during the third quarter increased by 15 percent year-on-year to $83.4 million, representing 37 percent of group revenues.
Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager of ARM's Processor and Physical IP Divisions, said in an interview that designs wins in the iPad and Chrome notebook are helping both the company's mobile and computing segments.


ARM's Simon Segars

Mobile has always been ARM's strong suit, but Segars took issue with some analysts who are urging ARM to aggressively expand in its served markets. Forty percent of ARM revenues come from non-mobile application segments such as TVs, DVD players, set-top boxes and antilock braking systems in cars, he said.

"That's a lot of those 2.2 billion ICs," Segars added.

Average royalty per chip rose from 4.43 cents to 4.85 cents, but Segars cautioned about reading too much into the improvement. "The average might be interesting, but it doesn't tell the full story about ARM," he said. "It's a shift to higher ASPs, more integrated and the growth of smartphones...but the mix shift can go up or down in any one quarter."

Segars, who will deliver a keynote next Tuesday (Oct. 30) at ARM TechCon, acknowledged that while "we're obviously very pleased with those results," the market is still weak for electronics.

"If anything I worry about ... things beyond our control. Will Europe melt down? Will there be a major recession? What happens after the election?" Seegar said.

Related stories:

--TSMC taps ARM's V8 on road to 16-nm FinFET
--Road to ARM TechCon: Cortex-A9 Processor Optimization Pack