SoftBank-owned processor designer Arm has announced plans to develop intelligence chips

SoftBank-owned processor designer Arm announced plans to develop its own in-house artificial intelligence (AI) chips on the back of AI-related profits.

On May 13, a report from Nikkei Asia said that Arm is setting up an AI chip development division, with its first protocol released by the spring of 2025 and mass production expected by the fall of the same year.

It has been reported that Arm will bear the initial development costs, estimated at hundreds of billions of yen, with contributions from SoftBank, which holds a 90% stake. Once mass production is up and running, there is potential to spin the AI ​​chip business under the same SoftBank umbrella.

SoftBank is already said to be in negotiations with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, among others, to secure the ability to mass produce chips.

Arm is responsible for providing the technology used in key chips for “virtually all smartphones and tablets,” according to the company. It owns a share of more than 90% in the architecture of processors used in smartphones.

Additionally, Arm provides architecture to Nvidia – one of the leading AI chip developers on the market. By developing its own chips for high-level AI models, Arm aims to reduce its dependence on Nvidia.

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This comes after SoftBank announced net profits in the fourth quarter of its 2024 fiscal year after the company shifted its focus towards artificial intelligence. Arm has been a major part of the company’s forecast for next year.

Yoshimitsu Goto, SoftBank’s chief financial officer, said at a press conference in Tokyo that growing interest and development in the artificial intelligence sector is the group’s main focus:

“Arm is at the heart of SoftBank Group’s AI transformation that will create a new ecosystem, alongside the various assets we have long held that use AI, centered around the Vision Fund.”

Arm’s stock rose 30% last February due to its expected ambitions in the field of artificial intelligence. It is one of many technology developers looking to develop AI chips in-house and stop relying on Nvidia.

On April 15, Samsung said it had received a $6.4 billion grant to expand its Texas facility to manufacture semiconductor chips, with $45 billion expected to be invested by the end of the decade.

In February, it was reported that OpenAI, the company behind one of the world’s most powerful chatbots, ChatGPT, was seeking trillions of dollars in investments from investors around the world to start manufacturing its own chips.

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