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For efficiently powering the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, and nearly every other mobile device

Started in 1958 as a chain of Pronto Markets convenience stores, founder Joe Coulombe later renamed the company and changed its direction. Line Ends Here Image collage by: Andrew Hur

In these energy-strapped times, ARM Holdings is the quiet giant of low-power processors. This little-known U.K.–based company licenses watt-sipping microchip designs to the major semiconductor firms that supply chips for the makers of mobile phones, cameras, TVs, cars, toys, and more. “We’re the clever bit, the brain in the product,” says ARM chief Warren East. Now East is keen to take on two challenging (read: Intel-dominated) markets, PCs and servers. East brings manufacturing partners and expertise in inexpensive, low-power architecture to the fight.