Arm Ltd.

Arm Ltd.
Founded27 November 1990 (1990-11-27)[1]
FoundersJamie Urquhart, Mike Muller, Tudor Brown, Lee Smith, John Biggs, Harry Oldham, Dave Howard, Pete Harrod, Harry Meekings, Al Thomas, Andy Merritt, David Seal[2]
HeadquartersCambridge, England, UK[3]
Key people
Simon Segars (CEO)[4]
ProductsMicroprocessor designs, graphics processing unit (GPU) designs and neural processing unit (NPU) designs[5]
RevenueIncrease JPY ¥152.42 billion (2017)[6]
Decrease JPY ¥24.29 billion (2017)[6]
Decrease JPY ¥(31.79) billion (2017)[6]
Total assetsUS$3.21 billion (2016)[7]
Number of employees
About 6,250 (2018)[7]
ParentSoftBank Group

Arm Ltd. (stylized as arm) is a British semiconductor and software design company based in Cambridge, England.[8] Its primary business is in the design of ARM processors (CPUs), although it also designs other chips; software development tools under the DS-5, RealView and Keil brands; and systems and platforms, system-on-a-chip (SoC) infrastructure and software. As a "holding" company, it also holds shares of other companies. It is considered to be market dominant for processors in mobile phones (smartphones or otherwise), tablet computers and for chips in smart TVs and in total over 160 billion chips have been made for various devices based on designs from Arm (more than from any other company). The company is one of the best-known "Silicon Fen" companies.[9] Since 2016, it has been owned by conglomerate SoftBank Group.

While ARM CPUs first appeared in the Acorn Archimedes, a desktop computer, today's systems include mostly embedded systems, including all types of phones. Systems, like iPhone and Android smartphones, frequently include many chips, from many different providers, that include one or more licensed Arm cores, in addition to those in the main Arm-based processor. Arm's core designs are also used in chips that support all the most common network-related technologies.

Processors based on designs licensed from Arm, or designed by licensees of one of the ARM instruction set architectures, are used in all classes of computing devices (including in space). Examples of use of those processors range from the world's smallest computer, to smartphones, laptops, desktops, servers and to the world's fastest supercomputer by several benchmarks included on the TOP500 list (and including at one point, in 2019,[10] the most energy-efficient one on the list). Processors designed by Arm or by Arm licensees are used as microcontrollers in embedded systems, including real-time safety systems. Arm's Mali line of graphics processing units (GPU) is the third most popular GPU in mobile devices. A recent addition to their lineup are AI accelerator chips for neural network processing.

Arm's main CPU competitors in servers include IBM, Intel and AMD.[11] Intel competed with Arm-based chips in mobile, but Arm no longer has any competition in that space (however, vendors of actual Arm-based chips compete within that space). Arm's main GPU competitors include mobile GPUs from American and Japanese technology companies Imagination Technologies (PowerVR), Qualcomm (Adreno), and increasingly Nvidia and Intel. Despite competing within GPUs, Qualcomm and Nvidia have combined their GPUs with Arm-licensed CPUs.

Arm had a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It also had a secondary listing on NASDAQ. However Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Group made an agreed offer for Arm on 18 July 2016, subject to approval by Arm's shareholders, valuing the company at £24.3 billion.[12] The transaction was completed on 5 September 2016.[13][14]

On 13 September 2020, it was announced that Nvidia would buy Arm from SoftBank for $40 billion, subject to regulatory approval, with the latter acquiring a 10% share in Nvidia.[15][16][17]

  1. ^ "ARM's first press release" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  2. ^ Saxby, Robin (23 November 2006). "Chips With Everything". Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Arm Worldwide Office". Arm.
  4. ^ Erin Griffiths (16 November 2017). "Phone-chip Designer Tackles 'Industrial' Internet of Things". Wired. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  5. ^ Ltd, Arm. "IP Products | Machine Learning". ARM Developer. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Arm Segment | Financials and Filings | Investor Relations | About Us | SoftBank Group". SoftBank Group. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b "ARM Holdings on the Forbes World's Most Innovative Companies List". Forbes.
  8. ^ "ARM LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Companies House.
  9. ^ "ARM CPU Core Dominates Mobile Market – Nikkei Electronics Asia – Tech-On!". Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  10. ^ "November 2019 | TOP500". Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  11. ^ Merritt, Rick. "Cavium Flexes ARM Server Upgrade: 14nm ThunderX2 will pack 54 cores".
  12. ^ BBC. “ARM chip designer to be bought by Japan's SoftBank 18 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  13. ^ "SoftBank finally completes £24bn ARM takeover". Silicon Republic. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Acquisition of ARM Holdings plc. by SoftBank Group Corp".
  15. ^ Moorhead, Patrick. "It's Official- NVIDIA Acquires Arm For $40B To Create What Could Be A Computing Juggernaut". Forbes. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  16. ^ "NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion, Creating World's Premier Computing Company for the Age of AI". NVIDIA. 13 September 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  17. ^ Rosoff, Matt (13 September 2020). "Nvidia to buy Arm Holdings from SoftBank for $40 billion". CNBC. Retrieved 13 September 2020.

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