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8 July, 2020 - 10:11 By Tony Quested

Cambridge impact unknown as Arm divests IoT business to parent SoftBank

Superchip architect Arm has declined to go into the potential impact on its Cambridge UK headquarters of a major restructuring by its Japanese parent company SoftBank.

ARM is set to to transfer two of its Internet of Things (IoT) businesses to SoftBank, subject to board approval. SoftBank would then directly oversee those divisions. 

Arm told Business Weekly that the move is strategic and designed to promote improved growth and profitability.

A spokesperson added: “If the proposed transfer is completed we will deepen our focus on our core semiconductor IP business and accelerate the returns on our investments in client, infrastructure, automotive and embedded/IoT devices.

“We are not sharing any additional details or commenting on future plans at this time.”

Business Weekly has recently reported a number of new technologies developed within these core categories which will be directed from Arm’s massively expanded Cambridge headquarters. Arm’s IP across these segments is huge and global and it has leading international players leveraging the enhanced technology.

Arm was sold to SoftBank for $32 billion in September 2016 and CEO Simon Segars believes the newly announced strategic pivot will significantly enhance the bottom line.

He said: “Softbank's experience in managing fast-growing, early-stage businesses would enable the IoT Services Group to maximise its value in capturing the data opportunity.

“ARM would be in a stronger position to innovate in our core IP roadmap and provide our partners with greater support to capture the expanding opportunities for compute solutions across a range of markets.”

ARM expects to complete the switch before the end of September and I understand it intends to continue collaborating with the divisions moving to SoftBank control after the handover.

Arm smashed its own record for the number of chips circulated to customers worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2019. Arm silicon partners shipped a record 6.4 billion Arm-based chips, the third record quarter for unit shipments in the past two years.

Arm saw growing demand for embedded intelligence in endpoint devices as demonstrated by the record 4.2 billion Cortex-M processors shipped across the planet.

To date, Arm partners have shipped more than 160 billion Arm-based chips, and an average of more than 22 billion over the past three years.

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