A move towards longer-term licensing deals has put British semiconductor firm ARM closer to becoming the standard microprocessing architecture for digital electronics worldwide, according to analysts. London-based ARM, perking up a sluggish global semiconductor market, agreed on Monday to give Samsung Electronics access to its portfolio of intellectual property on embedded Risc (reduced instruction set computing) technology for future-generation products. Financial details were not disclosed. Analysts said the deal allowed ARM to further dominate the world market for semiconductor intellectual property and demonstrated the company's ability to adapt its licensing strategy to application trends, beating traditional chip makers such as Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments. Gartner Asia-Pacific senior analyst Dorothy Lai said: 'ARM, which has been the de facto standard in the digital cellular market, is looking to stay ahead of the curve by branching out into a range of other digital electronics applications in which large manufacturers like Samsung are now focused on.' Backed up by ARM, Samsung wants to step up programmes to make it the world's leading integrated circuit supplier in the wireless, networking, consumer entertainment and security markets. Commenting on the Samsung deal, ARM chief executive Warren East said: 'This agreement comes at an especially important time for ARM as we continue to expand our presence in the Asia-Pacific market.' Under their agreement, Samsung will gain access to all ARM's central processing unit core technologies, its PrimeCell peripherals, the AMBA kit for system-on-a-chip designs, AMBA-compliance testbench, application software, and the MOVE co-processor technology. The two companies will also jointly develop future products that use the ARM architecture. Last year, Intel also extended its licensing deal with ARM to include next-generation microprocessor intellectual property that could help the computer chip giant expand its presence in other digital electronics applications. Ms Lai said ARM's Samsung deal and possibly other agreements like it with other chip manufacturers would mean tougher competition for Intel in those markets. Founded in 1990 as a spin-off from Acorn Computers, ARM develops and licenses microprocessor intellectual property to hardware and software makers. At present, its high-performance, low-cost, power-efficient Risc processors, peripherals, and system chip designs are licensed to leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive support required in developing a complete system. Its microprocessor cores have also become the de facto Risc standard in such markets as portable communications, hand-held computing, multimedia digital consumer electronics and embedded systems in automotive and smart-card applications. The company last year posted revenues of US$212 million, up 45 per cent from US$145.9 million the previous year. Its share of the global embedded Risc microprocessor intellectual property market reached 76.8 per cent last year.