ARM Expands Presence in Distribution

Electronics distributors are continuing to add to their array of services and products for the engineering community — the decision makers in the design chain. Distributors believe securing a connection with a customer's engineers will expand the relationship as a product moves down the line toward volume manufacturing.

{complink 12895|Premier Farnell plc} has been moving steadily beyond its component sales business by building the element14 engineering community and, more recently, a design services site, the Knode. On Monday, the company secured a key relationship in the processor business by agreeing to offer {complink 444|ARM Ltd.} development tools, software, evaluation boards, and debug hardware across the Americas through its Newark/element14 brand.

“For many of our customers, ARM is the architecture of choice,” Chris Sullivan, head of global solutions marketing for Premier Farnell, said in a phone interview. “We've sold ARM devices, and now we want to provide those same customers with ARM development tools.” The distributor has invested in making the development process as easy as possible for engineers by integrating the ARM portfolio into the Newark/element14 design solutions flow.

For example, Newark/element14 has built reference designs and boards targeted at specific applications. When engineers work within the Newark/element14 design environment, the designs and related materials are presented on the page. Some of them were developed by users in the element14 engineering community.

Newark/element14's efforts are targeted at small and midsize OEMs and design houses that don't need the array of tools and services large OEMs require. The distributor offers PCB design software, component integration, CAD libraries, and quickturn prototyping. The choices are available a la carte , so designers can mix and match what they need. If registration or licensing is required, users can register a single user or multiple users.

Suppliers have difficulty managing thousands of small relationships, and that's where distributors step in. “Premier Farnell's innovative approach of combining the power of community and designer engagement with e-commerce adds great value to the wider ARM ecosystem,” Mark Onions, director of marketing for ARM's system design division, said in a press release.

“Licensing to big silicon players is where ARM plays,” says Sullivan. “We give them the reach and exposure to a broader engineering community.”

Element14/Newark has also been improving the capabilities of its Eagle PCB design software, CAD libraries, components integration, and prototyping to make the process seamless. “For example, we've made it easier to import designs [to the element14/Newark environment] that have been developed in different file formats,” Sullivan says. “We are trying to help engineers get products to market faster, so we put everything they need in their hands ASAP.”

4 comments on “ARM Expands Presence in Distribution

  1. Cryptoman
    January 25, 2012

    I congratulate Premier Farnell on their decision of providing ARM development tools besides ARM devices. This just makes perfect sense for everyone involved to be honest.

    As an  embedded systems professional, I can confirm that there is nothing more frustrating than putting together an embedded development environment by picking and choosing every single bit from a different supplier/vendor/manufacturer. Then you have to get round the compatibility issues that may arise and when that happens no salesman takes the responsibility and you suffer as a developer. It is a nightmare !

    Having a one stop shop in embedded development is a great bliss and it definitely simplifies the logistics of sourcing all the parts to start/continue your work. This move will also increase ARM's existing popularity because the support for it is increasing and its believer community is ever expanding.


  2. tioluwa
    January 25, 2012

    I agree with Cryptoman, however, let's wait and see what potfolios they actually come up with and what they will put in place to win the heart of embedded designers. If their target area is small and midsize OEMs, the cost will count alot, but more importantly will be the vastness of their ARM potfolio.


  3. Taimoor Zubar
    January 25, 2012

    From a business standpoint, I can say that ARM is diversifying in the right direction. It's very likely to be en effective move in the long run.

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    December 19, 2018

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