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SoftBank Shares Soar as Arm Rolls Out New Smartphone Chip Tech

Taiwan smartphone chip maker MediaTek said it will be using Arm’s new technology for its next-generation smartphones

Some of the world's biggest tech giants have agreed to invest in Softbank's listing of Arm on the Nasdaq.
SoftBank-owned Arm sells blueprints that chip designers use to build their own hardware. Photo: Reuters.


Japan’s SoftBank saw its shares soar on Monday after the investment group’s chip designer Arm rolled out new technology for mobile devices.

Shares in SoftBank, whose CEO Masayoshi Son is focused on listing Arm, closed up 8.2% in Tokyo in the biggest jump in more than a year.

“Investors have become extremely sensitive to any news about AI or chip technology and jumped on this Arm news,” Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, said.


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Meanwhile, Taiwan smartphone chip maker MediaTek said it will be using Arm’s new technology for its next-generation product.

A longtime supplier of low- and mid-tier smart phone chips, MediaTek has been pushing into the market to supply chips for premium smartphones, once dominated by rival Qualcomm, which has been in a legal battle with Arm since last year over chip licensing agreements.

MediaTek’s Taiwan-listed shares were up 1.1%.


Better performance, less power consumption

Arm sells blueprints chip designers use to build their own hardware. It is launching Immortalis-G720, a chip for video image processing and AI applications, and the Cortex-X4, a processor that would be the brains of the mobile device at Taiwan’s Computex conference.

Arm said both new chips have 15% better performance than their previous generations, and the Cortex-X4 uses 40% less power, key for smartphones that need to keep battery use time long.

Arm also said it has “taped out” the Cortex-X4 at Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC, which means it had a chip manufactured at the factory, an expensive process usually done by chip designers that sell the final chip.

Chris Bergey, the general manager of Arm’s Client Line of Business, said this was a step it sometimes takes to help test out new manufacturing technology for customers.

“Arm is not in the business of selling chips. That’s not what we do,” he said.

Arm said the Cortex-X4 was taped out on TSMC’s N3E process and said it was an industry first.

Last month the Financial Times reported that Arm was developing its own chip to showcase the capabilities of its designs.


  • Reuters, with additional inputs from Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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