ARM is on a mobile RISC roll

ARM has reported an 18% increase in Q2 revenue ($192 million total), as the UK-based company effectively doubled the number of licenses sold for smartphones and tablets during the first half of 2011.

”In the first half of 2011, we have seen strong license revenues driven by an increase in design activity around ARM technology,” CEO Warren East wrote in an official statement.

East also confirmed ARM is entering the second half of 2011 with a “healthy order backlog and a robust opportunity pipeline,” both of which are expected to deliver strong performance in license revenues.

Indeed, the corporation signed an impressive 29 processor licenses and shipped 1.1 billion chips in the quarter ended June 30.

Nevertheless, ARM maintained its previous forecasts for the year, which could indicate a holding pattern on sales expectations ahead of the 2011 holiday season.

“There’s obviously a number of broad macro economic uncertainties that make us cautious as to whether the normal seasonal uptick you see at the end of the year, ahead of Christmas, is as significant as it had been in some other years,” explained ARM finance director Tim Score.

“[Still], we are building that installed license base quicker than we ever have done in the past. The more competitive the environment the better it is for the ARM business. We don’t try to pick winners, we try to enable the field. The chipmakers that win will end up paying us the most royalties.”

Score also commented on ARM’s move into the lucrative PC and server space, both of which are currently dominated by x86 architecture.

However, the industry is poised to experience a paradigm shift, as the traditional WinTel model was recently rebooted by Microsoft’s decision to code a RISC-friendly version of Windows 8 for ARM-powered chips.

“The computing space generally is a longer-term opportunity for us in terms of meaningful royalties… For those to come through the building blocks need to be being put in place now,” he added.