Good news, bad news
However, the Rogue win just reinforces that there is room for concern on ARM's behalf and cheering on Imagination's. Indeed Imagination's share price jumped by about 25 percent.
ARM's decision to acquire Falanx Microsystems in June 2006 was so that it could have its own graphics cores instead of selling the ARM-plus-Imagination combination. And it wanted its own graphics because it could see that graphics and display performance rather than CPU performance was increasingly becoming the big care-about at the systems level for companies such as Apple and Samsung.
The more recent good news for ARM is that ST-Ericsson is working with both Imagination and ARM. Mali 400 graphics from ARM are included in the Nova A9500 and the A9540 application processors also announced earlier this week.
These chips are implemented in 45- and 32-nm CMOS and benchmarked to clock at 1.2-GHz and 1.8-GHz respectively, delivering between a 20 percent and 4-fold kicker to graphics performance compared with ST-Ericsson's extant U8500 SoC platform. The U8500 itself is a 1.2-GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor plus Mali 400 graphics.
The bad news for ARM is they are clearly eclipsed by the 28-nm A9600 processor which targets 2.5-GHz clock frequency when implemented in 28-nm CMOS. The Nova A9600 will be the first platform announced to incorporate a PowerVR Series 6 graphics unit. The Nova A9600 will bring more than a 20-fold improvement in graphics performance compared with the U8500 platform.