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Arm, to spin off the IoT Services Group (ISG) to its parent company SoftBank

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Arm, the world’s leading supplier of CPU and GPU designs, just announced that it plans to transfer the IoT Services Group (ISG), which includes the IoT Platform and Treasure Data teams, to its parent company SoftBank. According to the company, this will allow Arm to focus on its core business – semiconductor intellectual property (IP). Softbank would continue to manage and invest in ISG, which is based more on software and services on top of Arm platforms.

This represents a shift in strategy back to Arm’s focus prior to the SoftBank acquisition. Since the acquisition, SoftBank had pushed for Arm to expand into new areas both in IP, such as for servers, and in the emerging management of data in the IoT era. Tirias Research believes that it is a wise move that will focus Arm’s future investments and aid the company in increasing profitability in the areas it excels, while allowing SoftBank to focus on the service aspect, which is likewise an area that SoftBank excels.

The move does not appear to be driven by any financial hardship or COVID-19, as the entire tech industry continues to see strong growth. In addition, Arm continues to be the most prevalent architecture with over 22 billion Arm-based chips shipping annually into everything from smartphones and handheld medical devices to automotive and industrial applications. Arm is also seeing continued success in servers and recently landed the number one spot on the TOP500 supercomputer list in the new Fugaku co-developed by Fujitsu and Riken using Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX processor based on Arm IP. Apple also announced plans to switch from x86 processors in its MacBooks to its own Arm-based processors.

The change in strategy will allow Arm to focus on these and other customers looking to grow market share leveraging ARM IP. Arm will, however, maintain some software assets closely tied to the development of IP, such as its Mbed operating system, which was transferred from ISG to the IP group, presumably in consideration of this announcement, earlier this year.

By: DocMemory
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