ARM Holdings has reshaped the computing world in the last decade, with silicon designs that now enable mobile devices and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) era. Japan's Softbank is now set to acquire ARM Holding Plc in a deal valued at $31 billion.
As part of the deal, Softbank has pledged to retain ARM's UK presence and headquarters in Cambridge as well as the senior management team and the ARM brand itself. Going a step further, Softbank is pledging to double the ARM employee headcount in the UK over the next five years.
"SoftBank intends to invest in ARM, support its management team, accelerate its strategy and allow it to fully realize its potential beyond what is possible as a publicly listed company," Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank, said in a statement. "This is one of the most important acquisitions we have ever made, and I expect ARM to be a key pillar of SoftBank’s growth strategy going forward."
For Softbank the promise of acquiring ARM is that it can help to further accelerate the adoption of ARM's technology as well intellectual property licensing around the world.
Softbank Aiming to Spur ARM Growth in Enterprise and Embedded Intelligence Markets
ARM has become a de facto standard consumer mobile device technology, and one of Softbank's aims is to grow the Enterprise and Embedded Intelligence category.
The acquisition of ARM isn't likely the last deal Softbank makes in the space either. In its release about the acquisition, SoftBank stated it intends to support ARM’s multiple growth initiatives by investing in engineering talent and complementary acquisitions with the aim of ensuring ARM maintains a R&D edge over existing and emerging competitors.
ARM dominance in mobile is almost absolute, with 95 percent of smartphones in the world today using some form of an ARM-based processor. According to ARM, over 85 billion systems-on-a-chip (SoC) have been shipped to date based on ARM’s technology.
"ARM is an outstanding company with an exceptional track record of growth," Stuart Chambers, Chairman of ARM, said in a statement. "The Board believes that by accessing all the resources that Softbank has to offer, ARM will be able to further accelerate the use of ARM-based technology wherever computing happens.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist