Everyone's a Winner says ARM, Freescale and Samsung as BBC Gives Away a Million Free micro:bits to Schools

July 07, 2015

Cambridge, UK, July 7, 2015 - ARM, Freescale and Samsung welcome the full technical launch of the BBC micro:bit pocket computer that will be given to all Year 7 children in the UK in the Autumn. The companies have supported the project from concept to reality in close partnership with the BBC's engineering teams. Find more detail on today's announcement in the BBC media centre.

Simon Segars, CEO ARM: "Technology is now as much a part of childhood as riding a bicycle or kicking a football but going from user to innovator is something we still need to encourage. The BBC and Acorn Computers, where ARM® technology was first created, came together 35 years ago to develop the BBC Micro and that inspired the engineers now at the forefront of shaping our increasingly connected world. The new BBC micro:bit has even greater potential because it can inspire boys and girls toward a career in technology at a time of unprecedented demand for science and engineering skills across all areas of the global economy."

Geoff Lees, Senior Vice President of Microcontrollers at Freescale® Semiconductor: "The Internet of Tomorrow is bringing almost limitless possibility to interact with the world around us and the new BBC micro:bit with its unique ability to detect and measure both movement and direction, as well as sensing location and surroundings, should truly encourage more young people to get involved and to experiment and create in the digital world. The BBC Make it Digital initiative is set to play a critical role in helping to unleash imagination and creativity within the next generation technology innovators and visionaries of tomorrow, and this aligns perfectly with our own commitment to world-class education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)."

Andy Griffiths, President of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland: "At Samsung, we're very excited to bring the micro:bit to life with the BBC. Our engineers are enabling the micro:bit to communicate with everyday digital devices such as phones and tablets to allow young people to code inside and outside of the classroom. It's a great way to showcase the capabilities of this technology and we're looking forward to seeing how creative people can get with coding, whether that's programming their micro:bit to take a 'selfie' via their phone camera or coding it to flash when they get an incoming call, the possibilities are limitless."


Andy Winstanley
+44 1223 405244/ +44 7788 249712
Director of Corporate PR, ARM

Eoin Bedford
+44 (0) 20 8811 2124 / +44 (0) 7896 355 735
Racepoint Global (ARM)

Laurent Massicot
+33 (0)1 69 10 48 05
Media Relations EMEA, Freescale

Jasmine Barnes
+44 207 861 3101
Good Relations PR, Samsung

Notes to Editors:


The BBC micro:bit was created using the ARM mbed™ hardware and software development kits (HDK and SDK) and compiler services. The project builds on the organisation's collaboration on the original 1981 BBC Microcomputer.

ARM mbed software enables Lancaster University's micro:bit runtime solution and the Microsoft programming interface sits on top of mbed's professional-grade cloud compiler service, converting users' programmes into micro:bit code. These files are 'flashed' onto the device over USB or BLE for the board to run. The ARM mbed developer tools (developer.mbed.org) are available for students to take their microbit experience to the next level to develop low level programming skills.


Freescale is responsible for supplying the accelerometer, the magnetometer, and the Micro-USB controller.

Freescale have worked on the hardware of the micro:bit. They have provided the Kinetis KL26 microcontroller that manages the micro:bit's USB connection. This allows the users to connect the micro:bit to their computers. Once connected the micro:bit will appear in a similar way to a usb drive. Users can then drag their compiled code file onto the micro:bit and run it.

Freescale have also provided the accelerometer and magnetometer motion sensors that enable the micro:bit to react to motion and the direction it's facing. These will allow children to create exciting new applications based on position and whether they shake, turn or tilt their micro:bit.


Samsung is connecting the micro:bit to phones and tablets, so that they are able to communicate with each other. By enabling the micro:bit to tap into the functions of our everyday digital devices, it opens up a limitless possibility of imaginative uses. For example, young people could code their micro:bit to launch their phone camera remotely to take a 'selfie' at the push of a button or they could code their micro:bit to act as a remote control to play music on their phone.

Samsung will also publish an app that will support the micro:bit coding environment from mobile devices, allowing young people to program on-the-go.

Developing student projects and teacher resources for the micro:bit, Samsung will help introduce the Internet of Things and the future of connected technologies into the classroom.



ARM (LSE: ARM, NASDAQ: ARMH.US) designs technology at the heart of the World's most advanced digital products. We are enabling the development of new markets and transformation of industries and society, invisibly creating opportunity for a globally connected population. Our scalable, energy-efficient processor designs and related technologies deliver intelligence wherever computing happens, ranging from sensors to servers, including smartphones, tablets, digital TVs, enterprise infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

Our innovative technology is licensed by ARM Partners who have shipped more than 60 billion System on Chip (SoCs) containing our intellectual property. Together with our Connected Community, we are breaking down barriers to innovation for developers, designers and engineers, ensuring a fast, reliable route to market for leading electronics companies. Learn more and join the conversation at http://community.arm.com.


Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) enables secure, embedded processing solutions for the Internet of Tomorrow. Freescale's solutions drive a more innovative and connected world, simplifying our lives and making us safer. While serving the world's largest companies, Freescale is also committed to supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, enabling the next generation of innovators. www.freescale.com.

Samsung's Citizenship Programmes

Samsung is committed to help close the digital divide and skills gap in the UK. Samsung Digital Classrooms in schools, charities/non-profit organisations and cultural partners provide access to the latest technology and the training and maintenance support necessary to help make the transition and integration of the new technology as smooth as possible. Samsung also offers qualifications and training in technology for young people and teachers through its Digital Academies in London and Birmingham. These initiatives will inspire young people, staff and teachers to learn and teach in new exciting ways and help to encourage young people into careers using technology.

Find out more: www.samsung.com/uk/citizenship.

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