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Tuesday, June 06, 2017
China Takes Significant Step Towards Developing Its Own Chips Through ARM-supported, Chinese IP Firm

Chinese reports say that ARM and the Chinese Hopu-ARM Innovation Fund have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that they will establish a joint venture in Shenzhen to develop intellectual property products for use in IC designs.

ARM and China's Hopu formed the Hopu-ARM Innovation Fund in January 2017. SoftBank Group's ARM had not disclosed whether it had invested in the fund. However, the Beijing-based fund has subsequently been reported to have $800 million at its disposal, with investors to include: China Investment Corp:, Silk Road Fund, Singapore's Temasak Holdings, ARM, Hopu Investment Management and Shum Yip Group.

Chinese Commercial Times reported that the joint venture would utilize ARM's technical prowess to develop IP and ICs for applications in the areas high-performance computing, graphics management artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

ChinaTechNews quotes Masayoshi Son, CEO and chairman of SoftBank Group, as saying that ARM and the joint venture would make new products together and deliver them to the world through Chinese engineers and enterprises. Obviously, the Softbank Group is set to help China gain the essential IP needed for the development of chips. Such a move could shake up the chip industry in the upcoming years, as China will be able to develop competitive chip designs and eventually sell them overseas.

However, it remains unclear how ARM will ensure the joint-venture does not represent a conflict of interest with its own business model.

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