British chip designer ARM Holdings said on Monday its technology is ready for “Google TVs” and could be in the Internet-based devices next year if its partners can come out with products based on its designs. If ARM's processors can find a spot in Google Inc TVs or other similar televisions, ARM aims to have more than a 50 percent share in the global set-top box and digital TV market in the next three to five years, versus about 30 percent now.
“The traditional PC market is changing. Computing is not dead. Computing will continue and the growth and excitement is in new form factors and new business models and obviously TV is an example of that,” ARM President Tudor Brown told Reuters. “I am very confident that we will have a processor in a very high percentage of those TVs over a few years,” Brown said in an interview in Taipei ahead of the start of Computex, the world's second-largest PC trade fair. “We are already halfway through this year. It's not really us, it's our partners. It's people like TI, or Nvidia or Samsung.” “We have the basic technology capability to do it. ARM products are fast enough to do that, but the question is which semiconductor companies want to build.”
Earlier this month, Web search king Google showed off a risky attempt to marry the Web to television and reach the $70 billion TV advertising market, chasing a dream that has eluded even archrival Apple Inc. Google is joining hands with Sony and Intel on the TV project. The key to Google TV is an on-screen search box, just like on Google's Web site. The TV search box accesses Google's search engine to look through live programs, DVR recordings and the Web, delivering a relatively compact list of results that can be accessed with a push of the button.
TV could be a new growth engine for ARM, which has dominated the cellphone market. It designs processor cores for chips that power more than 90 percent of the world's cellphones, and earns licence fees when chip makers agree to make chips based on its designs and royalties. Companies including Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Nvidia are developing devices based on ARM-technology that would be suitable for use in many other portable gadgets, including mini, low-cost netbooks.