Adobe Takes Up ARM for Flash

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Adobe and UK-based ARM Holdings have announced they plan to work together to bring both Flash 10 and Adobe Air to ARM-powered devices. This means that cell phones sporting ARM processors—including a broad range of devices from Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, and (yes) Apple will, in theory, be able to tap into Flash-based content and applications built using Adobe Air. The companies anticipate the technology will be available in the second half of 2009.

“ARM believes this partnership will develop optimized Adobe Flash and Air implementations that will run on billions of devices from our partners such as pocket-sized mobile devices, mobile computing platforms, set-top boxes, digital TVs, and automotive infotainment,” said ARM’s VP of marketing Ian Drew, in a statement. “The combination of Adobe Flash and ARM’s low-power processor IP and Mali GPUs will ensure a fantastic Internet experience for consumers on the world’s leading 32-bit architecture.”

The companies will target the ARMv5 and ARMv7 architectures, which are currently used in the ARM11 line and Cortex-A series of processors, and the project is actually expected to lower power consumption for mobile devices running Flash 10 and Adobe Air content.

The Adobe-ARM partnership developed from the Open Screen Project, an Adobe-sponsored effort to bring a consist runtime environment to a variety of devices, so those devices can tap into the Internet regardless of their screen real estate. The Open Screen Project will handle licensing of the ARM-compatible Flash technology to its members on a royalty-free basis, while Adobe will license Flash Player 10 for ARM processors directly to OEMs.

Several Open Screen Project partners, including Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Samsung, and Freescale have already thrown their support behind the project.