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.
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