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Chip IP designer ARM becomes “Arm” — or is it arm?

Aug 7, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,839 views

Chip IP designer ARM Holdings has released a video that rebrands itself as “Arm” and promises to bring “happiness for everyone.”

Eleven months after UK based semiconductor IP designer ARM Holdings was acquired by Japanese technology giant Softbank Group for about $31 billion, Arm has quietly rebranded itself with a hipper, lower-case “arm” logo. The strapless new look first debuted in a platitude rich Aug. 1 YouTube video (see below) spotted on’s BrandNew page. The name change seemed to have been challenged by a bit of indecision, judging by the recent edit history on Arm’s Wikipedia page (see Aug. 7, 2017 screenshot farther below), and the Arm website shows some examples of ARM, Arm, and arm. In an email to LinuxGizmos, Phil Hughes, Arm’s Director of Public Relations, wrote: “basically arm is all lowercase for the logo and when used in text is Arm.”

Old ARM logo (left) and new arm one
(click image to enlarge)

The video, which builds upon some new messaging that emerged in a speech at last month’s SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo by Arm CEO Simon Segars, shortly after he was named as a member of SoftBank’s board, notes some impressive stats. The company formerly known as Acorn RISC Machine now “touches 70 percent of the world’s population” and “powers 95 percent of all mobile devices” with “a 100 billion Arm-based chips,” intones the hypnotic voice of the narrator.

Recent edit history on Arm’s Wikipedia page (left) and CEO Simon Segars
(click images to enlarge)

The messaging then soars into La-La land as Arm extols its vision of “creating technology so seamless that it empowers the best in life — a trillion devices built on one foundation making life better, happier for everyone.” Over a montage of blissed out multicultural faces, the narrator speaks of “architecting a brighter future with a technology that is simple, seamless, and secure,” and generating “innovation without interruption” and “happiness for everyone.”



Things do appear to be looking up for Arm and its armada of chip partners such as Samsung, Qualcomm, NXP, Huawei, MediaTek, and others. They’ve all been on a smartphone-induced sugar high for years.

Arm’s new Cortex-A75 design and DynamIQ follow-on to Big.Little keep the pressure on Intel. Meanwhile Microsoft is once again flirting with Arm after its previous Windows RT disaster. The Windows maker is now working with Qualcomm to build Snapdragon based Windows 10 PCs.

Arm easily vanquished an attempt by fellow UK-based chip IP designer Imagination Technologies to resurrect the MIPS architecture, and Arm’s Mali GPUs have stolen market share from Imagination’s PowerVR chips. In the world of IoT, which is now front and center in Arm’s plans, its Cortex-M chips continue to make inroads against other MCU designs.

On the other side of the aisle, Intel first abandoned its attempt to break into the smartphone SoC market, and then stumbled on the IoT front. Intel recently cancelled its Curie and Arduino 101 boards shortly after discontinuing the Joule, Edison, and Galileo.

SoftBank CEO
Masayoshi Son

Arm is still struggling in servers, where AMD poses new competition in addition to the dominant Intel, but it hasn’t given up. Arm is now working with Qualcomm and Huawei to develop new server chips. Meanwhile, it’s doing just fine in the emerging “edge computing” IoT gateway scene.

Even with the looming threat of Brexit, Arm says it aims to stick to its plan to hire 5,000 workers over the next five years. The infusion of new funds from SoftBank, led by superstar CEO Masayoshi Son, as well as the removal of direct shareholder pressures, should help defang Brexit’s bite and open up new markets. SoftBank has launched a $100 billion Vision Fund to invest in AI and IoT technologies, and today, Son revealed he was considering buying a stake in Uber or its rival Lyft.

Now if only that pesky, open source RISC-V fad would fade away, Arm might achieve its goal of creating world bliss.

New Arm messaging on YouTube


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