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The Path to a Trillion Connected Devices

Since being acquired by SoftBank, ARM’s vision for the future has even more purpose. We are investing, we are growing and we are mapping out how to fulfill our destiny as the company creating technologies that deliver a secure, intelligent and hyperconnected world. It is a new growth phase for ARM and incredibly exciting, but this is a story that began well before SoftBank first approached us with an acquisition in mind one year ago. I go back to the first time I met Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s CEO and chairman in 2006. We were swapping views on the future of technology at SoftBank’s offices overlooking Tokyo harbor.

I took an immediate liking to Masa as he was, and still is, a visionary entrepreneur who genuinely cares about what technology can do for people. Then, I was an ARM company executive vice president, having spent 15 years leading engineering and business functions, and it was part of my job to think about tomorrow. It was clear that we shared a similar vision for how technology would influence the world, but I could not have suspected that a decade later I’d be flying to a seaside town in Turkey to hear Masa propose something extraordinarily bold. He wanted the company I now lead as CEO to be central in his plans for the future of technology.

A year after that meeting, not only is ARM part of the rapidly expanding SoftBank technology family, but I am honored to have been elected to the SoftBank Board. ARM is already a global success story. It has evolved from a company of 12 engineers working out of a converted barn in Cambridge, UK, into a worldwide organization whose technology is in more than 95 percent of smartphones, laced throughout the growing Internet of Things and shipped in more than 100 billion silicon chips. ARM’s business model, and the fact we count a diverse ecosystem of major technology players as partners, have helped us to become the foundation of the advanced computing world. From that foundation, ARM, as well as being at the heart of the technology world, now has the chance to play a leading role in guiding the sector’s destiny.

We are thinking bigger; we are thinking about how our technologies impact the world and how we can shape the future responsibly and deliberately. We are thinking about how markets can grow in a world where manufacturers not only want to sell physical products but they want to offer new over-the-internet services that add unprecedented value to their customers. We are thinking about how we can help the world move from a simple three-dimensional space to one of multiple dimensions, with technology seamlessly embedded in our cities, cars, homes, factories and infrastructure. Our vision will change the way we interact with things and each other. It will deliver value and enhance our ability to shape our world. Crucially, it will enable us to make progress sustainably and safely, and make possible anything we dream.

Now, with a seat on the SoftBank board, ARM is in an even better position to support the advance of the markets we touch. Consider the $100 billion Vision Fund SoftBank recently announced. It’s the world’s biggest-ever single venture capital fund aimed at supporting existing and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to be deployed at scale. Thanks to our legacy of helping to nurture emerging technology markets, ARM and its ecosystem are uniquely positioned to deliver solutions to help Vision Fund companies invent and deliver the future.

By continuing to drive innovation through the ARM ecosystem and into the market and by thinking creatively about the future, there is a tremendous opportunity for us all to deliver benefits to society. The ARM ecosystem will continue to be fully engaged: More than 100 billion ARM-powered chips have shipped in the company’s existence, and the next 100 billion will ship by 2021. We think the ARM ecosystem is the rallying point for tomorrow – and the heart of a future built on the silicon of a trillion secure, connected devices that will lead to world-changing inventions. Ten years ago, Masa and I were merely dreaming about such things, now – as part of a much bigger enterprise – we are helping to deliver them.

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