Arm, the UK-based semiconductor design company, is reportedly developing its advanced semiconductors to showcase the power and capabilities of its designs. The move is part of a drive to showcase its products and recruit new clients ahead of its IPO at the end of this year. According to sources familiar with the topic, Arm intends to collaborate with manufacturing partners to bring the new chip to life.
A new “solution engineering” team has been formed to oversee the development of prototype processors for mobile devices, laptops, and other electronic devices. The team is reportedly led by Kevork Kechichian, a veteran at Qualcomm who has overseen the development of over 100 SoCs.
According to various industry executives, Arm’s latest chips launched in the past six months are more “advanced” than ever before. The company has long made test chips to help software developers familiarize themselves with new designs, but the latest effort is bigger than ever.
Arm’s chip designs form the roots of many major SoCs, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Apple’s A-series. Arm recently partnered with Intel to enable Arm-based chip makers to manufacture chips based on the 18A process technology. However, Arm’s chip-making efforts have raised concerns that it could become a commercial player if its chips are good enough, potentially competing with its customers.
According to sources close to the firm, Arm is simply working on a prototype and has no ambitions to licence or sell it. In fact, selling the actual chip would be a direct competitor to its customers and a deviation from the “neutral model” where it could sell designs to almost any chip maker company.
Arm’s development of advanced semiconductors is a strategic move to promote its products and attract new customers ahead of its IPO. However, the company’s focus on its core business of providing intellectual property to chip makers is unlikely to change, as becoming a commercial player could put it in direct competition with its customers.