ARM Buys Cadence’s Display Chip Cores

The move is designed to bolster ARM’s capabilities in multimedia applications for high-end, low-power mobile devices.

ARM is buying Cadence's PANTA display controller cores, a move that will give a boost to ARM's mobile chip development.

ARM announced the deal Sept. 3, with company officials noting that ARM co-developed the PANTA lineup of high-resolution display processor cores and scaling coprocessor IP cores.

"Display technology is critical to the mobile consumer's user experience," Pete Hutton, executive vice president and general manager of ARM's Media Processing Division, said in a statement. "The addition of the PANTA family of display cores to the ARM product portfolio will help our ecosystem of partners get to market quickly with high-end displays that are fully integrated with ARM's leading Mali graphics and video solutions and protected with ARM TrustZone security."

The PANTA technology is aimed at advanced multimedia applications for high-end mobile devices that have ultra-low power consumption, according to ARM officials. ARM designs chips and then licenses those designs to manufacturers such as Samsung and Qualcomm, which add their own technologies to the chips before selling them.

ARM-designed systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) are found in most tablets and smartphones, though giant chip maker Intel is looking to gain ground in the mobile device market via its low-power Atom platform.

No financial information on the deal was disclosed.

The move comes a week after ARM bought Sensinode Oy, which made and sold software for the Internet of Things. ARM officials said Aug. 27 that the company will continue selling Sensinode's NanoStack and NanoService products to existing and new customers.

The Internet of Things is envisioned as a future where everything from computers and mobile devices to cars, appliances, wearable computing devices and a wide range of other products are connected to the Internet. Analysts at IHS predict that there will be 30 billion connected devices by 2020, and ARM officials believe the company's Cortex family of chips and its mbed project will combine with Sensinode's technology to create a foundation for the new devices, from wireless sensors and smart connected appliances to home health applications and wearable computers.

"ARM is dedicated to enabling a standards-based Internet of Things where billions of devices of all types and capabilities are connected through interoperable Internet protocols and Web services," John Cornish, executive vice president and general manager of ARM's System Design Division, said in a statement. "Sensinode is a pioneer in software for low-cost, low-power Internet-connected devices and has been a key contributor to open standards" for the Internet of Things.

Those standards include the 6LoWPAN and CoAP standards for low-cost, low-power devices, and the IETF, ZigBee IP, ETSI and OMA standards efforts.