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Excellence in miniature

“So small you can hardly see it, and so low power you can use them anywhere.” That was how Simon Segars, CEO of ARM, described his company’s aim. ARM processors are today in virtually every smartphone and tablet we use, and a lot more besides.

30 years ago Acorn Computers developed a core processor for the computer at the heart of a BBC educational project. This processor was remarkably fast for its day, and used very little power. So innovative was it that Apple took note, and provided 30% of the funding for a new company – ARM – founded in 1990.

Today ARM provides the core processor designs for more than 400 clients who build chips around them. As well as smartphones and tablets, the chips are part of the wireless infrastructure revolution, and are to be found as embedded disk controllers in the servers that hold our data. They are also to be found in devices as diverse as cars and toasters.

So ubiquitous is ARM and its embedded processing that 2014 saw its technology in 12 billion new devices. To put it into context, on average every person on the planet bought two ARM-powered devices last year.

For all this work, and in particularly for its impact on the media industry, ARM received IBC’s highest award, the International Honour for Excellence.

The head of ARM’s media business, Mark Dickinson, accepted the award last night, but the company’s CEO Simon Segars also sent a video message, emphasising that the media industry is a key part of ARM’s strategy and a vibrant part of the business.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting future, a future where content is created and consumed in many different ways, be it in the home, on mobile devices or in the cinema,” Segars said. “For our part, we’re working on the underlying technology that is going to make that a reality, and we are looking forward to seeing the future delivered.

“Thank you to the IBC Council for this prestigious award. We’re thrilled to receive it.”