ARM Holdings Acquired by Japanese Telecom Company Softbank

By Published July 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Intel and AMD dominated the entire CPU market in the 90s and early 2000s, but ARM-based SOCs have taken a large chunk of their business. The ARM architecture and RISC instruction set is used in almost every phone today and can be found in Chromebooks, tablets, TVs, and servers.

ARM is a unique company as it licenses its patents to technology companies to use for a fee; in turn, ARM often receives royalties from these deals. The company actually doesn’t make any physical CPUs like Intel and AMD, so almost all of its money comes from patent deals with other companies to take its designs and create SOCs, which are then put into tablets, phones, or other products.

The BBC recently posted that ARM is set to be acquired by Softbank, a Japanese Telecommunications company, for 32 billion dollars. Softbank actually paid 43% more than what the ARM shares are currently worth to acquire the firm.

Softbank is a global telecommunications firm which owns Vodafone Japan and 80% of Sprint Corporation. Vodafone Japan currently has around 37 million subscribers in Japan, while Sprint has 57.3 million subscribers in the United States.

The acquisition of ARM is an interesting one as they are the main threat to Intel right now in the CPU space. ARM’s grip on the mobile market is so strong that it was reported back in April of this year that Intel is giving up on mobile SOCs for phones. Not only is ARM’s dominance in the mobile space unquestioned, but ARM is beginning to encroach on Intel’s enterprise territory with HP and Texas Instruments offering ARM-based servers now. ARM devices are threatening Intel in many sectors, so it will be interesting how it fares under Softbank leadership.

- Chris Zele

Last modified on July 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

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