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It’s a big market for little chips: 2.6B ARM chips shipped last quarter

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Gigaom

ARM Holdings(s armh), the U.K.-based company that architects the small chips powering most smartphones and tablets these days, is reaping huge benefits from the mobile market. On Tuesday, the company reported a 44 percent boost in pre-tax profits for the first quarter of 2013 and a 26 percent jump in revenues from the year ago quarter. Two data points explain the rise: 2.6 billion ARM-based chips where shipped in the first three months of the year while ARM’s Mali graphics chips have seen a five-fold increase in sales from a year ago.

Apple Event 10/4 - Phil Schiller introduces the A5 chip in the iPhone 4SUnlike Intel(s intc) at the other end of silicon spectrum, ARM doesn’t build or fabricate chips. Instead, it designs the chip architecture and receives license and royalty fees from companies that use the designs. Apple’s(s aapl) A-line processors, Samsung’s Exynos and Qualcomm’s(s qcom) Snapdragon chips, for example, are all based on ARM designs. Essentially, every new smartphone or tablet…

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