While we normally focus on the technology, to have a holistic understanding of the industry it’s necessary to see the business side as well. While ARM has been an independent company for some time now, today Softbank has leveraged the fall in the value of the British Pound to buy ARM Holdings plc, the company responsible for the ARM ISA, ARM Cortex CPUs and MCUs, Mali GPUs, and numerous other IP blocks that are often used in SoCs today. If you’ve followed our coverage, this isn’t really a surprise, but Softbank is primarily a telecom and internet-centric company with relatively little focus on CMOS chip design.

ARM is valued at 11.89 GBP per share, so to be bought out at 17 GBP per share is a fairly significant premium above the market rate. Looking at past investments it seems that Softbank is no stranger to these kinds of plays but it’s not clear whether Softbank will take a hands-on approach to managing the company or mostly leave ARM to its devices. One option is that they favor a more hands-off approach and ARM is primarily a financial investment for Softbank. It remains to be seen what kind of effect this will have, but the financial backing of a major Japanese conglomerate would likely allow for ARM to devote additional time and resources to designing new architectures to better target high performance mobile and server applications which could impact the industry significantly to ARM’s benefit.

The other option is if Softbank takes a much more hands-on approach to managing ARM, which could be interesting if it helps root out whatever normalized deviance exists in management or engineering at ARM, but could also completely destroy the company if a poor approach is taken. Of course, there’s no way to know what path Softbank will take here, but regardless it’ll be an interesting few years in the semiconductor space.

Source: CNBC

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  • jabber - Monday, July 18, 2016 - link

    The refugees will still keep coming. It's a small world now. You cant stop it unless western corps and banks stop bank rolling the wars causing it. Brexit will achieve none of its false claims.
  • Michael Bay - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - link

    "Small world"? Spare me this pathetic nonsence, there is plenty of room where that scum is flowing from.

    Walls and armed guards stop human trash dead.
  • Murloc - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - link

    "You cant stop it unless western corps and banks stop bank rolling the wars causing it. "
    are you ready to pay double the price of gas?

    [] yes
    [] no
  • jabber - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - link

    I live in the EU so it doesn't really matter to me the price of gas. It's always expensive and not a right to life. And if more expensive gas means a safer and more stable world. Small price to pay.
  • BMNify - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    apparently you dont buy petroleum in the UK already

    average of £4.89 per gallon
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - link

    The Russians have also been bankrolling conflicts in the middle east for ages, in addition to providing arms and even troops. Don't act like it's only the US and EU causing the problem. To say nothing of the fact that they have been jihading against outsiders and each other for ages over there. There's a lot of blame to go around.

    In the US I think if we continue to take in refugees, they need to use the White House front lawn as a staging area for new arrivals. See how many refugees we take in then. I figure it would cut the number down to three or four a day (enough for cameras to take pictures of).
  • BMNify - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    it's a lot harder for any refugees to get to the 'island nation' of the UK as not many are strong channel swimmers
  • Wolfpup - Monday, July 18, 2016 - link

    This feels like an April fools kind of thing. Did not see that coming, and honestly if someone's buying them, I'd rather it be the Japanese than a lot of countries, but still, this is kind of creepy. ARM already kind of creeps me out, given their CPUs probably outnumber humans now. I'm almost saying that as a joke, only...I'm not actually sure it is LOL
  • tygrus - Monday, July 18, 2016 - link

    Telecom + Internet + ARM = IoT

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