Apple signs new chip deal with Arm that goes ‘beyond 2040’

6 Sep 2023

Image: © phonlamaiphoto/

A new IPO filing by Arm claims it has entered a long-term agreement to give Apple access to its chip architecture.

Apple and Arm have entered into a new long-term agreement, giving the iPhone maker continued access to Arm’s chip technology.

The agreement was revealed in recent documents filed by Arm as part of its planned initial public offering (IPO). Details about this IPO were revealed last month and it is expected to be the biggest in the US since EV automaker Rivian went public in 2021 at a whopping $70bn.

Arm said the new long-term agreement with Apple “extends beyond 2040” and continues a long-standing relationship with Apple, giving the tech giant access to Arm architecture.

Owned by Japan’s Softbank Group, a multinational investment holding company headquartered in Tokyo, Arm is one of the world’s biggest chip designers, especially in the ARM-based chips (or CPUs) space for smartphones.

Apple has been using Arm chips for its iPhones, iPads and Mac devices, though Arm notes in its filing that it has close partnerships with other companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, AWS, Siemens and Alibaba, among others.

Arm’s focus on an IPO comes after Nvidia cancelled plans to acquire Arm in February amid regulatory pressure. Concerns were raised by the UK’s competition watchdog and then from the EU, before the US Federal Trade Commission said it would sue Nvidia to block the deal.

In its filing, Arm said semiconductors are “indispensable to everyday life”, being used for the devices and infrastructure that “facilitate virtually everything people do”.

“Almost all of the products and services people use every day rely on semiconductors. Manufacturing, logistics, city infrastructure and building management also increasingly build their processes and services around semiconductor-enabled devices.

“As consumers and enterprises continue to demand more from their devices, the pervasiveness of high-performance and energy-efficient semiconductors will continue to expand.”

The global semiconductor sector has had highs and lows in recent years, with a chip shortage being followed by a recent glut in the market.

The EU recently adopted its long-awaited Chips Act, which aims to increase the region’s share of global chip production to at least 20pc by the end of the decade, though the continent will need to rapidly increase capacity across construction, fit-out and operation of wafer fabs.

Last month, Dónal Travers of IDA Ireland discussed how Ireland can capitalise on the semiconductor sector, which is expected to double by the end of the decade.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic