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Why LG Getting ARM Cortex A15 License Is A Big Deal

ARM partners like Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia may soon find themselves competing with their own partners, as LG becomes the third major mobile phone manufacturer after Apple and Samsung to take the first steps to build its own system on chip family.

HTC & Sony Ericsson use mostly Qualcomm chipsets with SE likely to partner more closely with ST-Ericsson in the next 12 months to deliver products at the higher end of the market.

Nokia, Motorola & RIM depend on a number of players including Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Broadcom amongst others.

It is interesting to note that the license covers multi core versions of the Cortex A15 and A9 which means that LG Electronics is indeed aiming at the very top of the market where it currently depends on the TI OMAP4 and the Nvidia Tegra 2.

LG might have felt compelled to follow Samsung Electronics and Apple for the same reason the two chose to design their own system on chip, being able to differentiate themselves from the rest of the industry.

Lately, all Android-based tablets, for example, have started to look the same, sharing quasi identical hardware and software specifications which made users focus on pricing instead of anything else.

That said, it is unlikely though that the four other handset manufacturers - HTC, RIM, Nokia and Motorola - will follow and take out ARM licenses for a number of reasons; expertise, partners, time to market etc.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.