Pay no attention to the big blue man behind the curtain.
You might be astonished at how ARM Holdings
But ARM didn't do it alone. Not only does the company have the aforementioned army of license holders and manufacturing partners, but IBM
Big Blue and ARM just renewed their shared commitment to processor technologies several generations into the future. Under this agreement, ARM's processor blueprints will be tuned and optimized for manufacturing under IBM's umbrella of semiconductor process technologies, and vice versa.
The partnership started in 2008 and is already close to bearing fruit. More specifically, IBM's expertise accelerated the progress toward the 32-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes, which will be used to churn out the monster processors powering next year's tablets and smartphones at speeds up to 2.5 gigahertz. That's under the old IBM-ARM cooperation -- the new agreement takes processor traces to half the width at 14nm with all the concomitant efficiency and performance benefits.
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