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SoftBank's Arm to Launch AI Chips by 2025 in $64 Billion Strategic Initiative

Published: 6.7.2024

Arm, a subsidiary of SoftBank, is diving into the AI chip race with plans to launch its own designs by 2025 as part of a larger $64 billion strategic initiative led by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, aiming to position the company as a leader in next-generation technologies like AI, data centers, and robotics. 

Arm Holdings, renowned for its influential role in smartphone chip design, is setting up a dedicated AI chip division in the UK. The development phase is on track, with prototypes expected by spring 2025 and mass production anticipated by the fall of the same year. To secure the high-volume manufacturing needed, Arm is in discussions with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and other contract manufacturers. 

Strategic Vision and Investments 

Masayoshi Son's vision for AI extends beyond mere technological advancements. He sees AI as a pivotal tool for addressing global challenges across various sectors, including shipping, pharmaceuticals, finance, and manufacturing. The $64 billion investment will not only support AI chip development but also fund the construction of data centers powered by renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. 

With the AI chip market projected to grow exponentially—from $30 billion in 2023 to over $200 billion by 2032—SoftBank's move is timely. Arm aims to capture a substantial share of this market by offering specialized AI solutions and reducing its reliance on external suppliers like Nvidia, a dominant force in data center chips. 

Expanding Footprint 

SoftBank is expanding its footprint in the robotics and renewable energy sectors. The company has announced partnerships, such as a robotics joint venture with a unit of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, and is actively pursuing mergers and acquisitions to bolster its AI capabilities. These efforts are aimed at positioning SoftBank as a leading AI group capable of driving innovation and addressing complex global issues through super-intelligent AI. 

SoftBank's ambitions extend beyond chips and is actively expanding its footprint in robotics and renewable energy. This multi-pronged approach includes strategic partnerships, like a robotics joint venture with a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, and targeted mergers and acquisitions to boost their AI capabilities. SoftBank's ultimate goal? To become a preeminent AI leader, driving innovation and tackling complex global issues with the power of super-intelligent AI. 

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