In 2005, about 98% of the more than one billion mobile phones sold each year used at least one ARM processor.As of 2009, ARM processors account for approximately 90% of all embedded 32-bit RISC processors and are used extensively in consumer electronics, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablets, mobile phones, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles, calculators and computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers.
ARM cores are used in a number of products, particularly various PDAs and smartphones. Some computing examples are the Acorn Archimedes, Apple iPad and ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. Some other uses are the Apple iPod portable media player, Canon PowerShot A470 digital camera, Nintendo DS handheld games console and TomTom automotive navigation system.
Since 2005, ARM was also involved in Manchester University's computer, SpiNNaker, which used ARM cores to simulate the human brain.
The very first ARM-based Acorn Archimedes personal computers ran an interim operating system called Arthur, which evolved into RISC OS, used on later ARM-based systems from Acorn and other vendors.
The ARM architecture is supported by a large number of embedded and real-time operating systems, including Windows CE, Windows 8,.NET Micro Framework, Symbian, ChibiOS/RT, FreeRTOS, eCos, Integrity, Nucleus PLUS, MicroC/OS-II, QNX, RTEMS, BRTOS, RTXC Quadros, ThreadX, Unison Operating System, uTasker, VxWorks, MQX and OSE.
The ARM architecture is supported by Unix and Unix-like operating systems such as:
Plan 9 from Bell Labs
The following Linux distributions support ARM processors:
Arch Linux Arm
Wind River Linux BSD
The following BSD derivatives support ARM processors:
RISC iX(Acorn ARM2/ARM3-based systems only)
Microsoft announced on 5 January 2011 that the next major version of the Windows NT family (Windows 8)will include support for ARM processors. Microsoft demonstrated a preliminary version of Windows (version 6.2.7867) running on an ARM-based computer at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.The ARM architecture is also supported by Microsoft's mobile operating systems, Windows Phone and Windows Mobile. ARM is also supported on Microsoft's Embedded OS, Windows Embedded CE which is now called Windows Embedded Compact. This latest version supports ARMv 5,6 and 7. Windows CE 5 is the underlying OS for Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded Compact 7 is the underlying OS for Windows Phone 7. The smaller Microsoft OS .NET Microframework uses ARM exclusively.