Apple Helps ARM To Hit Record Q4

British chip designer ARM had its best ever quarter in the last three months of 2014, recording sales up 18 percent to £235 million. The firm also noted a record net cash generation of £122 million.

Key growth drivers in Q4 2014 were cited as the increased adoption of ARM processor technology. ARM said it had 53 processor licences signed for a broad range of applications including smartphones and mobile computers, enterprise infrastructure and high performance computing, and microcontrollers and chips for sensor hubs.

Yesterday, ARM announced it had acquired Dutch Internet of Things firm Offspark. Offspark specialises in IoT communications security and its PolarSSL technology is already deployed in sensors, communication modules, and smartphones.

Strong licence revenue growth

Simon Segars, ARM Holdings CEO, said: “In Q4 and throughout 2014 ARM has seen strong licence revenue growth, driven by market-leading semiconductor companies increasing their commitment to use ARM technology, and a broadening range of new customers choosing ARM technology for the first time.

Normalised profit before tax in Q4 2014 was £118.9 million compared to £95.5 million in Q4 2013. After including acquisition-related and share-based payment costs, intangible amortisation, impairments, restructuring charges, share of results of joint ventures, and exceptional items, IFRS profit before tax was £91.4 million in Q4 2014 compared to £12.2 million in Q4 2013.

Q4 royalty revenue was generated from the shipment of 3.5 billion ARM processor-based chips, up 20% year-on-year. Seven companies reported in the fourth quarter that they had shipped ARMv8-based chips, which represented around 1.5% of ARM’s total unit shipments.

Royalty growth

Segars said: “As expected, ARM’s royalty revenue growth rate increased in the fourth quarter. As the ARM Partnership continues to gain share, and as chips based on ARMv8-A processors and Mali graphics IP start shipping in higher volumes, the outlook for royalty revenues in 2015 and beyond is encouraging.

“2015 will bring exciting opportunities and challenges as ARM invests in new products and technologies, and continues to establish itself in competitive new markets.”

Apple’s Q4 results, announced in January, saw record sales of iPhones. These sales have no doubt helped ARM in its success, as the British company is one of Apple’s main processor suppliers.

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Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

View Comments

  • Let's get this in perspective 3.5 billion arm based chips shipped in the last quarter. Only 50 million are 64bit and not all of those are going into apple probably only about 1% of arm shipments are going into apple hardware.

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