Arm Creates Prototype Semiconductor Designed In-House
- Apple supplier Arm is reportedly developing its own chip to demonstrate the capabilities of its designs.
- Arm’s new chip, described by industry insiders as its most advanced design yet, is only meant to be a prototype.
- The move comes as Arm plans to go public with an IPO on New York’s Nasdaq exchange later this year.
Apple supplier and renowned chip designer Arm is developing its own semiconductor ahead of a planned IPO later this year — reports the Financial Times.
The SoftBank-owned group will team up with semiconductor manufacturing partners to create its own chip, according to sources who said the endeavour is Arm’s most advanced chipmaking effort to date.
Historically, Arm’s main line of business has been licensing chip designs to customers like Apple and Qualcomm. Arm owns the rights to the semiconductors that power more than 95% of all smartphones today, but it doesn’t usually develop or produce actual chips of its own — although it looks like that’s about to change.
While Arm has previously teamed up with semiconductor foundries like Samsung and fellow Apple supplier TSMC to build some chips, those were largely intended for developer use.
Meanwhile, Arm hopes that this new chip will help demonstrate the power and capabilities of its semiconductor designs to the wider market as the company looks to raise profits and drum up investor interest heading its planned listing on New York’s Nasdaq exchange.
Earlier this year, a report indicated that Arm was planning to significantly increase the prices for its chip designs to improve its bottom line.
The development of Arm’s new in-house chip for smartphones, laptops, and more will be led by a new “solutions engineering” team. Per industry sources, this new chip is “more advanced” than anything Arm has designed before.
Arm is only developing the chip as a prototype, however. The company has no plans to sell or license it, which would ultimately put it in competition with its customers. Arm’s solutions engineering team will also work on improving the performance and security of the company’s other offerings.
SoftBank’s plans to take Arm public come after the investment company failed to sell Arm to fellow silicon giant and customer Nvidia in a massive deal worth $40 billion.