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February 1, 2017updated 02 Mar 2017 2:10pm

What is ARM?

Read up on the UK company that was acquired by SoftBank.

By Alexander Sword

ARM is company which designs and licenses computer chips and software.

Headquartered in Cambridge, the company is known for its ARM processors which are widely used in smartphones and tablet computers.

The chips are used in some of the most well-known smartphones, including Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy devices. They are also used in devices made by HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson, in addition to some portable games consoles.

ARM’s main competitor in the computer chip market is Intel, while AMD is the company’s main rival in the server space.


What does the acronym ‘ARM’ stand for?

The company was founded in 1990, structured as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, what was then called Apple Computer, and VLSI Technology. The company’s acronym ‘ARM’ ws first used in 1983 and originally stood for “Acorn RISC Machine”.

However, when the company was incorporated in 1990, the acronym was changed to “Advanced RISC Machines” to reflect the company name “Advanced RISC Machines Ltd.” When the company was listed in 1998 the company name changed to ARM Holdings.

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The company has been publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1998. In July 2016 SoftBank announced that it was acquiring ARM for £24 billion as part of a deeper push into the Internet of Things market.


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