ARM is the UK company that powers the mobile industry. They design chips and architectures that they then allow anyone and every to use, for a licensing fee. Whether you’re talking Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Broadcom, they all use ARM in one shape or another.
Now there are two fundamentally different ways a company can go about designing a chip for a smartphone or tablet. They can call up ARM and ask them for the blueprints of the Cortex A15 and Mali GPU and make something like Samsung’s Exynos, or they can ask ARM for an architecture license.
Having an architecture license means you want to invest time and effort into making your own processor, a processor that is compatible with the ARM instruction set. Qualcomm is famous for this. They started with Scorpion, and now they have Krait. Apple has recently started doing this with SWIFT. Rumor has it that NVIDIA is going to jump in this game as well.
Today, Huawei is announcing that they’ve licensed the ARMv8 architecture, so it’s highly possible that within two to three years they’ll bring out a chip with Chinese designed ARMv8 compatible processors.
What is ARMv8? It’s the 64-bit version of ARM, which you’re going to need if you want to make a phone with 4GB of more of RAM. Sounds crazy, sure, but then again there was a time when 1GB of RAM blew people’s minds.