Arm specialises in the design of microprocessors - the brains of a silicon chip - and related technology.
Arm specialises in the design of microprocessors - the brains of a silicon chip - and related technology. Its microprocessor designs are found in a wide variety of products: most famously in over 90% of mobile phones, but in many other things too. Arm designs have been used in around 230bn chips. Its HQ has been in Cambridge since its foundation.
Robin Saxby (now Sir Robin) was made CEO in 1991. He introduced the IP business model which was not in wide use at the time: the Arm designs would be licensed to many semiconductor companies for an upfront licensing fee and a royalty per each use in silicon chips. This made Arm a partner of many companies worldwide. It enabled companies to accelerate the time to market for products using the latest microprocessor technology. And it effectively spread the costs of so doing throughout the entire sector, thus avoiding each semiconductor company having to design its own microprocessors.
Texas Instruments, Samsung and Sharp were early customers along with Apple. But success grew rapidly in the wake of the mobile phone revolution starting around 1994. Arm designs were highly suitable for the mobile world since they were very energy efficient.
In 1998 Arm floated simultaneously on both NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange, and remained a public company until 2016 when it was acquired by Softbank a Japanese Tech Conglomerate for $32 billion.
Arm has continued to innovate, creating more efficient microprocessor designs and now offers a range of designs for different purposes. Over the years, it has acquired a variety of specialist tech business to enrich its offerings.
It is headquartered in Cambridge but is a global company with operations in many countries, most significantly, the US, China, Taiwan and France.arm.com