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Nordic Semiconductor signs Arm Total Access licensing agreement for access to leading-edge processor designs, software and security IP

07 June 2024

Nordic Semiconductor has signed a multi-year Arm Total Access (ATA) licensing agreement with Arm, guaranteeing Nordic access to the widest range of Arm IP, tools, support, and training for its current and future products, including multiprotocol, Wi-Fi, cellular IoT, and DECT NR+ solutions.

The new deal extends the long-term partnership between the companies, stretching back to the launch of the Arm-powered Nordic nRF51 Series multiprotocol Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) in 2012. Since then, Nordic has shipped billions of chips using Arm technology.

Arm at the heart of Nordic’s product portfolio
Arm is a vendor of energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms, and its products have enabled advanced computing in more than 270 billion chips across the globe. Nordic’s current 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) use Arm Cortex-M class microprocessors. Nordic also uses related Arm IP in its products, together with design tools that make it easy to develop application software to run on Arm devices. Nordic’s future product roadmap includes chips that will use Arm IP. 

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Arm through this ATA licensing agreement,” says Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO/EVP R&D with Nordic. “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 [ML] models. Through this agreement we will have unlimited access to the leading-edge processor and security technology demanded by those products.” 

“New workload requirements for AI at the edge mean embedded devices need more and more compute capabilities,” says Paul Williamson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoT Line of Business, Arm. “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.”     

Developing the next generation of IoT solutions
The agreement will enable Nordic to develop the end-to-end solutions needed to power tomorrow’s IoT devices in sectors such as the smart home, smart city, industrial automation, healthcare, and wearables, among other key sectors. Many of these applications will demand complex software and ML models that in turn require powerful processor resources to run – without compromising battery life. 

Nordic’s fourth generation of multiprotocol SoCs, which includes the nRF54H20, points to this future. The nRF54H20 features multiple Arm Cortex-M33 processors and state-of-the-art security. The SoC has recently proven its world-leading processing efficiency, along with superior processing performance against EEMBC ULPMark-CoreMark benchmarks. Such performance underscores the potential of the SoC to enable innovative IoT end-products that were previously impossible.

Arm ATA provides easy access to the widest range of leading-edge and emerging Arm IP products, tools, support, and training. With this advanced access, ATA removes technological and commercial barriers by allowing access to IP at any time during the lifetime of a project, the flexibility to explore multiple iterations, and support for several different products in development at the same time.   

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