It would appear that ARM is dipping its toe in the DSP waters, at least that is how EETimes is spinning it, but looking at the companies presenatations [pdf!] it looks more like they are trying to compete with DSPs. Their strategy is to offer "Data Engines" which are flexible parts of the architecture that are tuned at compile time to the algorithms being executed. If this sounds hauntingly familiar it's because this is the same strategy that Stretch recently announced with their S5000 processors. I panned that processor pretty hard and I feel the same about ARM. Why? The problem comes down to a very basic understanding of the market, that is, the only people that this processor feature will appeal to will be those developers that don't alread know the bottlenecks in their system and honestly if you don't know that already then you've got bigger problems than just choosing a DSP or an FPGA.