There's no doubt ARM has done a good job of developing processor cores that score well in terms of performance per watt and per dollar. Its business model is as a kind of shared industry resource on processor architecture. However, as miniaturization continues the processor core becomes only a part of the chip architecture.
ARM has made one major broadening of its IP with the move into graphics processing initiated with the acquisition of Falanx Microsystems AS in June 2006. This has become the successful Mali GPU core range, second in the market place to Imagination's PowerVR line.
But as we move on to an era when system-chips could contain hundreds and thousands of processing elements new software and digital and analog hardware architectures will be required.
Segars needs to help his team consider the trend towards instruction set processors for more precise things beyond graphics rendering. This could be cognition processing close to the image sensor, sound processing, software-defined radio, and even more radical architectures such as research topics as imprecise processing for power saving.
In addition to logic there ARM needs to keep its eye on opportunities in non-volatile memory technology and RF.
At the same time ARM needs to go higher in abstraction – as it already is doing with work in the HSA Foundation – as software frameworks and intermediate languages will determine which architectures get selected for multicore heterogeneous computing.
Segars also needs to think about ARM can get paid for work in software which will become an increasing part of the company’s and its ecosystem's workload.