Arm Embraces the Custom Silicon Trend with Arm Total Design

October 20, 2023 / Ben Bajarin

One of the biggest trends we have continued to reference is the move to custom silicon by numerous names in big tech. Almost every major player in technology has some aspect of custom silicon, and you would be hard-pressed to find a product or category in tech that is built purely from off-the-shelf silicon. Your options before, regarding Arm IP, were to either license core IP (off-the-shelf) or get an architecture license to do more custom work. Or, of course, work with an existing licensee to develop customized solutions. In most of those cases, though, Arm did not benefit financially.  This makes the Total Design initiative interesting to Arm from a business model standpoint.

This program will make it easier for customers of Arm IP to develop custom solutions, in conjuction and in some cases in partnership with Arm (economically). Overall, this is a positive development for the industry and Arm which enables much more opportunity for customers to differentiate with Arm IP.

Overview of the main news points

1. Advancement in Chiplet Technology: The collaboration between Arm and its partners in the Arm Total Design ecosystem highlights the focus on chiplet technology. Chiplets offer modularity and flexibility in chip design by allowing different components to be designed and manufactured separately and then integrated into a single chip. This approach enables more efficient and cost-effective development of complex System-on-Chip (SoC) designs.

2. Acceleration of Custom Silicon Solutions: The Arm Total Design program aims to accelerate the development of custom silicon solutions by bringing together a diverse group of industry experts. This collaboration allows for pooling knowledge and expertise from multiple partners, streamlining the design and production process. By accelerating custom silicon development, the program enables faster time-to-market and delivery of innovative solutions.

3. Focus on Workload-Optimized Silicon: The Arm Total Design ecosystem emphasizes the development of workload-optimized silicon solutions. This means that the custom silicon chips produced through this collaboration will be designed and optimized to meet the demands of specific applications and workloads, such as cloud computing, data centers, networking, and AI. By tailoring silicon designs to specific workloads, the program ensures higher performance, energy efficiency, and an overall better solution fit.

4. Collaboration and Partnerships: The collaboration between Arm and its partners highlights the importance of cooperation and partnerships in driving innovation and advancing the semiconductor industry. By bringing together hardware and software partners, foundries, and Electronic Design Automation (EDA) technology experts, the Arm Total Design program creates an ecosystem that fosters collaboration, leveraging multiple stakeholders’ collective strengths and expertise.


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