What is an ARM processor? Details

ARM processors are a type of chip that have efficiency as their main characteristic, so that, not by chance, they are the standard of processors used in mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and the like. Unlike the x86 processors used in computers, which in turn are manufactured by companies like Intel and AMD, ARM processors use a differentiated architecture that works with a limited number of instructions, making the devices not require a lot of energy or even a very robust thermal solution.

Despite the proposal focused on energy efficiency and mobility, ARM processors have evolved a lot in recent years, causing companies like Apple, Qualcomm and even Microsoft to develop platforms that promise to offer the PC experience on compact devices. It should be noted that an ARM processor is not capable of running software developed for x86 systems, such as the Windows system, for example, but there is a specific version of the operating system called Windows RT, which was developed to run on ARM processors, but of course, does not offer the same experience as the conventional version of the operating system.

What is ARM?

The acronym ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machine, so the term RISC refers to a set of processor instructions. This standard is used in all ARM processors, as it is an architectural requirement.

RISC, in turn, is a reduced set of instructions, so it is more limited, making the instructions simpler than the CISC system, which is used on PCs. The RISC system requires less from the processor, which of course , makes the chip not need as much power, which is essential in mobile devices that have a battery.

ARM on the market

ARM processors have another interesting feature that is to concentrate on a single set, called SoC, basically all the components for the system to work. In the same package, ARM processors can bring memory, processor, GPU and modem, which is what happens on smartphones for example.

Speaking of smartphones, companies like Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung are exponents of the technology, since they use ARM processors in their devices. Qualcomm with its Snapdragon chips that are used by several manufacturers, has become a giant of the segment, unlike Apple and Samsung that manufacture in addition to the chip (M1 and Exynos respectively), devices such as iPhone, iPad and Galaxy devices.

Another example of the great evolution of ARM processors, occurred when Apple started using its own ARM M1 chips in its new MacBook models, thus abandoning Intel solutions and also promising a performance gain compared to the competitor’s processors. It is worth mentioning that Apple is one of the pioneers in ARM technology that is managed by ARM Holdings, which allows the apple to develop its system and chip together, which makes everything work in a more appropriate way.

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