After announcing plans in July to acquire ARM, Japan’s SoftBank is now the proud owner of the company that designs the technology used in most of the world’s smartphone processors.
SoftBank has completed its $32 billion acquisition of UK-based ARM Holdings.
ARM doesn’t actually make any processors, but it licenses its designs to companies including Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA, and MediaTek. In addition to powering smartphones and tablets, ARM-based chips are also used in servers, robots, and IoT products.
While rival Intel is hoping to make inroads in those product categories, ARM chips are also showing up in products that have traditionally been dominated by Intel, such as laptop computers (although right now most ARM-based laptops are Chromebooks, since the desktop versions of Windows and MacOS don’t run on ARM architecture).
SoftBank says ARM’s senior leadership team will remain in place and ARM will be run as as an independent company with its headquarters in Cambridge. But SoftBank plans to more than double the company’s workforce in the coming years as an effort to grow ARM’s business globally.