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Nordic Semiconductor extends licensing agreement with Arm
Wed, 7th Feb 2024

Nordic Semiconductor, the Oslo-based solutions provider, has extended its long-term licensing agreement with semiconductor design and software platform firm Arm. The announcement ensures Nordic has continued access to an extensive range of Arm intellectual property (IP), tools, support and training for its present and future offerings, including Wi-Fi, cellular IoT, multiprotocol, and DECT NR+ solutions.

Arm's energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms have been instrumental in the production of over 270 billion chips globally. Nordic's portfolio, which includes nRF51, nRF52, nRF53, nRF54L, and nRF54H Series multiprotocol Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) and the nRF91 Series cellular IoT and DECT NR+ Systems-in-Package (SiPs), employs Arm Cortex-M class microprocessors. Arm's components are central to the development of Nordic's future product roadmap.

Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO/EVP of R&D at Nordic, shared his views on the extended partnership. "We are delighted to extend our partnership with Arm through this ATA licensing agreement," he said. "Nordic has gained its reputation as a leading vendor of low power wireless technology in large part through its relationship with Arm."

"Today, our product roadmap builds on this legacy by leveraging even more powerful processors and multicore solutions to run the most advanced application software and machine learning models. Through this agreement we will have unlimited access to the leading-edge processor and security technology demanded by those products."

Paul Williamson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the IoT Line of Business at Arm emphasised the benefits offered by the agreement. "New workload requirements for AI at the edge mean embedded devices need more and more compute capabilities," he explained.

"Today, Nordic's Arm-based solutions are being used in everything from the smart home to connected health, and industrial automation. Moving forward, ATA will give Nordic unprecedented access to a comprehensive suite of Arm technology and a robust ecosystem of software and development tools, enabling them to offer their customers greater breadth of solutions at the edge, built on Arm."

This agreement paves the way for Nordic to design end-to-end solutions needed to power future IoT devices in sectors such as smart homes, smart cities, industrial automation, healthcare, and wearables. A host of these applications will demand complex software and machine learning models that, in turn, require powerful processor resources to run without compromising battery life. Nordic's fourth generation of multiprotocol SoCs, including the nRF54H20, exemplifies this trend, being composed of multiple Arm Cortex-M33 processors and state-of-the-art security and recently proving its superior processing efficiency against EEMBC ULPMark-CoreMark benchmarks.

Arm Total Access (ATA) offers ease of access to the broadest range of Arm IP products, tools, and resources for support and training. The agreement allows Nordic flexibility to explore multiple iterations and to have support for several products in development concurrently; in this, the barriers of technology and commerce are overcome.