How Many ARM Core Processors Does It Take To Make an iPhone?

| About: ARM Holdings, (ARMH)
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It's possible that Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone contains as many as a half-dozen ARM (ARMHY) cores. The logic goes like this:

So how many core processors from ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) does [iPhone have]? It's probably one ARM in the Samsung video processor. The Marvell 802.11n solution has an on-chip CPU. And then there is the Infineon baseband chip. While Infineon's mobile phone basebands have not traditionally been based on ARM cores Infineon's S-Gold3 turbo engine for multimedia phones is based on a ARM926 processor core to provide modem functions, according to the datasheet. So an Infineon baseband, maybe a custom one for Apple, is quite likely to be based on an ARM processor core.

The CSR Bluetooth protocol stack typically runs on a XAP processor core from Cambridge Consultants Ltd. and custom DSP engines when it runs on CSR-provided silicon but it also runs on ARM cores in some applications. Either way would represent multiple design wins for Silicon Fen.

Of course, none of this means ARM will make much money from iPhones. As the EETimes piece puckishly points out:

... there are apochryphal tales that the company that supplies the sticky-backed plastic films that protect screens from scratches make more money per mobile phone than ARM.

Oh, ouch.