It’s possible that Apple’s iPhone contains as many as a half-dozen ARM cores. The logic goes like this:
So how many core processors from ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England)
does [iPhone have]? It’s probably one ARM in the Samsung video
processor. The Marvell 802.11n solution has an on-chip CPU. And then
there is the Infineon baseband chip. While Infineon’s mobile phone
basebands have not traditionally been based on ARM cores Infineon’s
S-Gold3 turbo engine for multimedia phones is based on a ARM926
processor core to provide modem functions, according to the datasheet.
So an Infineon baseband, maybe a custom one for Apple, is quite likely
to be based on an ARM processor core.
The CSR Bluetooth protocol stack typically runs on a XAP
processor core from Cambridge Consultants Ltd. and custom DSP engines
when it runs on CSR-provided silicon but it also runs on ARM cores in
some applications. Either way would represent multiple design wins for
Of course, none of this means ARM will make much money from iPhones. As the EETimes piece puckishly points out:
… there are apochryphal tales that the company that supplies the
sticky-backed plastic films that protect screens from scratches make
more money per mobile phone than ARM.