As a young, spotty, tech-nerd, working in the Acorn Computers hinterland, I was well aware of when Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson developed the RISC processor architecture intended as a CPU to augment the 6502 8 bit processor in the BBC Microcomputer. Later this was used in the Acorn Archimedes, and then ARM was spun out as a chip Ipr licensing business.
Now, almost 30 years later ARM, is to be sold to Softbank for £24bn. The UK’s largest by value, technology business is to end up in foreign ownership.
What is truly remarkable is that a small team in Cambridge was to develop a processor architecture with a simple but powerful instruction set, that proved to be both economical in real estate and power such that it, and its evolutions, became the processor of choice for the mobile computing revolution over the last two decades and now drives the growth in the Internet of Things.
Few technology businesses have this sort of staying power: from the personal computer market, through mobile computing, to the Internet of Things. A beacon of what is possible in UK technology.
Peter Wolfers is COO at FirstCapital, a UK/USA based technology Investment Bank. Visit FirstCapital’s web site www.firstcapital.co.uk and follow FirstCapital on twitter @smartdealmaking
ARM founder says Softbank deal is 'sad day' for UK tech 18 July 2016 The founder of ARM Holdings has told the BBC he believes its imminent sale to Japanese technology giant Softbank is "a sad day for technology in Britain". Hermann Hauser said he was "very sad" at news of the £24bn ($32bn) takeover which was announced on Monday morning. The Cambridge-based firm designs microchips used in most smartphones, including Apple's and Samsung's.