A jewel in the UK technology crown is being sold.

A jewel in the UK technology crown is being sold.

It's been confirmed today that the UK technology firm ARM Holdings is to be bought by Japan's Softbank for £24bn ($32bn).

That they offered 50% more than the market valuation of ARM tells you how valuable they see this company as.

ARM processors crop up in a huge number of devices from iPhones to Raspberry Pi's. But surely the Raspberry Pi uses a Broadcom chip I hear you say. Indeed it does, but it uses an ARM core in the chip for the processor. This gives you an idea of the range of devices that ARM processors are used in. They're also used in the recently launched BBC micro:bit.

ARM are currently well primed to explode outward as the IoT (Internet of Things) takes off. Their processors are small and powerful, but light on power. They're also embed into a lots of development devices like the Adafruit Feather range. All of this says a lot of IoT devices will be ARM powered.

This is something that could go one of two ways.

  • It could help propel ARM even higher on the international stage.
  • Or it could lead to a massive brain drain and the loss of one of our technological jewels, if the company is moved abroad.

As with so many of the things going in at the moment, only time will tell :-/

Background on the rise of ARM

Evening Standard: The rise of ARM: From a small acorn to a mighty oak

BBC News: What is ARM and why is it worth £24bn


BBC News: ARM chip designer to be bought by Japan's Softbank