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Arm Limited - statistics & facts

Arm Limited, also recognized in the industry as ARM or Arm Holdings, is a British semiconductor and software design company with its global headquarters in Cambridge, UK. The company was founded in 1990 as Advanced RISC Machines Ltd and structured as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer (now Apple), and VLSI Technology. In 2016, the company was acquired by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. Today, Arm is best known for its computer processor architecture. The company generates the majority of its revenue from licensing sales of its technologies, and royalties arising from the subsequent sales of licensee’s chips that contain Arm’s technologies.

Arm’s processor architecture

Licensees use the design to create microcontrollers (MCUs), central processing units (CPUs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and system-on-chip (SoC) or application processors (APs). An SoC is an integrated circuit that combines all the functions of a computer on one IC microchip. These chips typically incorporate the CPU, graphics processing unit (GPU), and memory (RAM), and are commonly found in smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other IoT devices. Arm is recognized as a market leader in this field, with the firm accounting for a large proportion of main chips in mobile devices.

Arm’s licensees

Examples of products using Arm-based processors include the Qualcomm Snapdragon found in devices from the major Android device manufacturers, as well as the Apple A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. Apple has also started using Arm-based CPUs across its line of Mac PCs, a move away from their previous partnership with Intel. The decision was made to standardize on one CPU architecture for all iPhone, iPad, and Mac products, enabling Apple to have deeper integration and flexibility on innovations.

Nvidia's failed takeover of Arm

In addition to mobile APs, Arm is looking to strengthen its position in a number of key target markets. To support growth across these key markets and more, the firm had previously announced that it had reached an agreement with Nvidia for the purchase of Arm in a transaction worth 40 billion U.S. dollars. However, in February 2022, the deal, which stood to be the largest semiconductor industry acquisition in history, collapsed, citing significant regulatory challenges as a major stumbling block. SoftBank will receive 1.25 billion U.S. dollars from Nvidia for failing to go through with the transaction, with the company seeking an initial public offering of Arm before the end of its next fiscal year in March 2023.

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