LONDON ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England), a licensor of processor-related intellectual property, has disclosed plans for processor cores to be introduced into its Cortex range, codenamed Swift and Sparrow.
Swift is a low-cost, low-power follow-on to the Cortex M3 microcontroller and Sparrow is aimed at the real-time applications catered for by the Cortex-R family of cores, the company's chief executive told analysts at a conference organized for analysts to discuss ARM's fourth quarter and full year financial results.
"We are launching a new low-end product targeted at microcontrollers. We are talking with our partners about it right now. We do expect to do some licensing of that product right now," said Warren East, president and CEO of ARM.
East emphasized that there is no significance to the size of the birds these projects had been named after before adding: "Sparrow is the codename of our mid-range product targeted at feature phones and real-time applications. It's a follow on to the Cortex-R4 type product and, once again, that's a new one that we're introducing this year for licensing this year. We're talking to lead partners about it now and during 2009," he said.
East confirmed that both Swift and Sparrow are ARMv7 instruction set architecture cores, although ARM is also working on a follow-on architecture called ARMv8. He said Swift was slightly ahead of Sparrow so that some general licensing of that product could take place in 2009. For Sparrow some lead licensing is set to take place in 2009 but general licensing was set to occur in 2010, East said.
"We need a healthy portfolio of products. It's important that we grow that product licensing base," said East.
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