Cortus, Cambridge follow ARM’s direction

Highly successful processor designer ARM faces competition from a number of contenders in a chip race where small is beautiful.

According to the latest edition of the Microprocessor Report, the ARM Cortex-M0 only has 12,000 gates but faces competition from French and British companies.

French company Cortus, says the report,  offers a 9,500 gate processor, the 32-bit APS3. Cambridge Consultants, on the other hand, has an 18,000 gate processor as part of its XAP line.

Meanwhile, Tenselica has a 20,000 gate core in the shape of its Diamond Standard 106 Micro.

While 32-bit processors take more power, and need more memory, the chips covered in the Microprocessor Report are very small and save memory by including 16-bit long instructions in their instruction sets.

They’re all aimed at a  number of markets including low power systems, real time applications, microcontrollers and embedded systems. All the designs can be licensed from each of these companies. The Microprocessor Report is here (subscription needed).