A vision for a smarter world
An ARM case study

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Page 1: Introduction

Arm 17 Image 10Inventions, literary works, music and design are all intangible assets. The legal right to these ‘creations of the mind’ is referred to as Intellectual Property (IP). ARM Holdings is the world's leading semiconductor Intellectual Property (IP) supplier. A semiconductor is the electronic controller at the heart of many devices that we use every day, such as Smartphones, tablets, digital televisions and washing machines. In fact, ARM IP is at the heart of 35% of all consumer devices worldwide.

ARM has an innovative business model. ARM does not manufacture the products in which its technology is used. Instead ARM creates the technology that is then used by other companies – its partners. These partners incorporate ARM IP with their own technology to create smart, energy-efficient chips suitable for modern electronic devices. ARM licenses its IP for a one-off licence fee and then receives royalty fees for every chip that contains its technology. ARM effectively acts as an outsourced research and development (R&D) department to its network of partners.

With its headquarters in Cambridge (UK) and offices around the world, ARM employs over 2,500 highly skilled people. To maintain its market leading position, ARM carefully monitors changes in its external environment to ensure it can continue to outperform its competitors. Analysing these changes allows ARM to establish opportunities, threats and challenges. Key opportunities for growth include:

  • Advancements in technology – including machine-to-machine communications between smart sensors, referred to as ‘The Internet of Things’. For example, appliances in the home that can be monitored and controlled wirelessly by the homeowner wherever they are.
  • Market development – increasing market share in new markets such as servers and networking equipment. ARM’s technology is well placed to provide lower power options to transport, distribute, analyse and store data across the internet.
  • Demand for energy efficient technology – the market demands high performance products using low power technology.

This case study will demonstrate how ARM’s strategies contribute to the achievement of its business vision, aims and objectives using an integrated approach focusing on innovation, its people and its network of partners.

ARM | A vision for a smarter world