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U.K. firm ARM optimistic about share gains in server chip market (update)

2012/11/22 20:25:29

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) British chip designer ARM Holdings Plc said Thursday it is aiming for "significant growth" in its share of the market for computer server chips, as the company is working to expand its data center operations.

The company, which usually designs processor chips for smartphones and tablets, is eyeing a double-digit share of the server chip market in the next three to five years, said Ian Drew, executive vice president of ARM's marketing and business development.

"At the moment, we've got small trials with a few data centers. Next year, we want to see big trials with really big data centers," Drew said at ARM's annual technology forum in Taipei. However, he did not give any specifics about the partner data centers.

In June this year, ARM and Taiwanese computer maker MiTAC International Corp. launched the first server using ARM-based chips, in cooperation with Canonical Ltd. of the U.K. and Marvell Technology Group of the United States.

The GFX server is a new generation model with high density and low power consumption that enables more efficient cloud computing deployment, according to MiTAC.

Drew said ARM has also been working on designs of chips for lighting systems, a segment that accounts for 19 percent of global electricity consumption.

ARM, in collaboration with other British companies and the U.K. government, began testing a smart lighting system in the U.K. two month ago, using ARM chips to control motion sensor switches on streetlamps, he said.

He said, however, that he cannot estimate when the lighting system will be ready for commercialization, as more time is required to test its stability at different temperatures.

In the mobile device chip business, Drew said, ARM will continue to benefit from the booming market for smartphones in the over-US$400 and under-US$150 price range, which he said is expected to see "big growth."

The British firm will also continue to expand its presence in China's fast-growing smartphone market through partnerships with Chinese smartphone vendors, such as Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., and chip designer Spreadtrum Communications Inc., he said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)