The ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) architecture was developed in the 1980s by a British company, Acorn, for use in its personal computers. ARM Holdings currently develops and licenses the architecture to companies who want to incorporate things like radios, memory, and small user-interfaces into their products. The ARM architecture is typified by its extremely small footprint and this makes it ideal for a growing number of consumer products that are designed to be lightweight, portable, and battery-powered. A key advantage to processors that use the ARM architecture is that they require fewer transistors than those with the more complex architectures found in, for example, an x86 processor in a PC. Having fewer transistors greatly improves power consumption, heat dissipation and costs.
ARM technologies play an important and expanding role in the lives of consumers and are key to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). System-on-Chip (SoC) designers are creating increasingly complex IoT chips that can integrate many complex components with built-in security. ARM Systems are enabling a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) applications such as autonomous vehicles, voice assistants, and robots. ARM technologies are part of smart TVs, wearables like those that count your steps and monitor your heart-rate, and remote patient monitoring that saves people from needless doctor visits. ARM is the architecture of choice for smartphone developers, with 95% of the market share in smart phone processors.
The ARM ecosystem also plays an important role in driving business innovation. With so many SoC partners innovating and expanding the market, ARM is moving into more and more modern data centers. Linux distributions like SUSE Linux Enterprise and Ubuntu are available on ARM. Middleware like Java and container technologies like Docker are being deployed on ARM-based solutions. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM is the first generally available commercial enterprise-grade Linux distribution that is optimized for servers based on the 64-bit Armv8-A architecture. And SUSE offers a specially packaged version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM as an image, tailored for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.