ARM 'Flycatcher' chip tiny, cheap, enables 'Internet of things'

ARM Cortex M0+ chip (Flycatcher), a 32-bit chip with low price and small size, may lead to linking common items over the Internet.

British chip design firm ARM has released a 32-bit chip at 8-bit pricing designed to run for years on little battery power. Already licensed by NXP Semiconductors and Freescale, the chips should sell for 20 to 25 cents, with a license fee back to ARM of one or two percent. Think small costs but huge potential, as the embedded Internet-connected chip market has been estimated at up to 50 billion connected devices in 2020.

Intel may own the desktop and server chip market, but ARM's focus on low power embedded products has paid off well, with more than a billion chips sold in the fourth quarter of 2011. Based on the ARM M0, out since 2009, the M0+ should be able to leverage earlier customers and developers to get a foothold in the market quickly.


Now we'll have low-powered x86 chips with a proper BIOS and hardware abstraction layer, which will allow us to install virtually any operating system we desire.

sonicmerlin on

This is not the first tiny low-power microprocessor out there -- it's just that ARM keeps pushing the envelope.

Tuna-Fish on

You're looking at about as much performance as you had in your old 486 from 20 years ago, but do it at 5mW.

wagnerrp on


Pretty much every tablet and smartphone uses an ARM-licensed processor, and before smartphones, a lot of dumbphones used older, slower ARM chips as well.

Chip on

Do Androids Dream of Electric Chips?

AllegroTroppo1 on

ARM is a brilliant (if not the poster-boy) example of why the UK government should be investing in new technology companies rather than car manufacturing and banking.

sambeau on

Linking everything

I mean, interconnected appliances at about $0.50 additional cost (if what I saw was true) seems like a great idea...

Alister_Profitt on

Communicate w/each other, gather data on you, transmit through smart meters, data sold to marketers and PR firms. Ingenious.

WonderingNThinking on

I don't want ANY of my appliances connected to the internet. No way, no how, NEVER.

ProgressivesWin on

When your refrigerator connects to your washer to coordinate run times with the electrical company for the cheapest rates, this or a similar chip will be involved.

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