British firm has high hopes for smart home chip

Post by Kevin Jackson on 24th September 2014 in General industry, Technology

British firm has high hopes for smart home chip

A team of British boffins claims to have developed a new control chip for ‘smart home’ applications which offers twice the computing power of existing versions.

The new chip is a major weapon in Cambridge-based ARM Holdings’ efforts to crack the potentially lucrative but increasingly complex market in connected home appliances.

A Financial Times report says the company is pitching the chip, known as a microcontroller, at domestic appliance manufacturers as a means of building more complex capabilities, such as voice recognition, into devices such as washing machines.

“Your washing machine will talk to your meter to work out when it should operate to use the least electricity,” said ARM executive Richard York, describing one of the potential applications of his company’s new processor.

ARM is most widely associated with developing components for smartphones, with 95 per cent of all such phones sold containing at least some of its products.

But the FT notes that, with growth in this market already being felt by ARM, the company clearly sees such microcontroller development as a major focus.

“There’s huge amounts to gain, as that market is growing quite a bit more than almost any other space,” Mr York said.

“We have a lot to gain as a business, but also to contribute to others by enabling better functionality in products.”

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