Arm micro hip

Brief ARM history

Arm is a British semiconductor and software design company that is known for its Arm processors, which are widely used in smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. Arm was founded in 1990 as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer, and VLSI Technology. The company was originally called Advanced RISC Machines, but later changed its name to Arm Ltd in 1998.

In 1985, the first Arm silicon chip was created by Acorn engineers Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber, who designed a 32-bit processor with a simple and elegant instruction set.

In 1990, Arm was spun off from Acorn as a separate company, with Apple as a major investor. Arm’s first product was the ARM6 processor, which was used in Apple’s Newton personal digital assistant.

Impression of the Apple Newton PDA device

In 1993, Arm introduced the ARM7 processor, which became one of the most successful embedded processors in history. It was used in devices such as the Nokia 6110 mobile phone, the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, and the Lego Mindstorms robotics kit.

In 1994, Arm launched the ARM9 processor family, which offered higher performance and lower power consumption than previous generations. The ARM9 was used in devices such as the Sony PlayStation Portable, the Palm Treo smartphone, and the Amazon Kindle e-reader.

In 1997, Arm introduced the ARM10 processor family, which featured a superscalar architecture and a floating-point unit. The ARM10 was used in devices such as the Apple iPod, the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, and the Raspberry Pi computer.

In 1998, Arm changed its name from Advanced RISC Machines to Arm Ltd, reflecting its global expansion and recognition.

In 1999, Arm launched the ARM11 processor family, which featured a vector floating-point unit and a TrustZone security extension. The ARM11 was used in devices such as the iPhone 3G, the Nintendo DS, and the Raspberry Pi Zero.

In 2000, Arm became a public company, listing on the London Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. The company raised £213 million in its initial public offering.

In 2001, Arm introduced the Cortex processor family, which offered a range of performance, power, and cost options for different applications. The Cortex processors are used in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Apple Watch, and the Tesla Model 3.

In 2005, Arm acquired Artisan Components, a provider of physical intellectual property (IP) for chip design. This enabled Arm to offer a complete solution for system-on-chip (SoC) development.

In 2006, Arm announced the Mali graphics processing unit (GPU) family, which complemented its CPU offerings with high-performance graphics capabilities. The Mali GPUs are used in devices such as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Oculus Quest, and the Samsung Smart TV.

Artistic image of ARM chip

In 2009, Arm partnered with IBM, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and others to form the Linaro consortium, which aimed to improve the Linux software ecosystem for Arm-based devices.

In 2010, Arm unveiled the Cortex-A15 processor, which was the first Arm processor to support virtualization and big.LITTLE technology. The Cortex-A15 was used in devices such as the Google Nexus 10, the LG G3, and the Nintendo Switch.

In 2011, Arm announced the Cortex-M0+ processor, which was the world’s most energy-efficient microcontroller. The Cortex-M0+ was used in devices such as the Arduino Nano 33 IoT, the Fitbit Flex 2, and the Nest Thermostat.

In 2012, Arm launched the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors, which were the first Arm processors to support the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. The Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 were used in devices such as the iPhone 6s, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, and the Microsoft Surface Pro X.

In 2013, Arm acquired Geomerics, a developer of real-time lighting technology for video games. This enhanced Arm’s graphics portfolio with dynamic illumination and global illumination effects.

In 2014, Arm introduced the Cortex-A72 processor, which delivered a 50% performance improvement over the previous generation. The Cortex-A72 was used in devices such as the Huawei P9, the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus, and the Amazon Fire HD 10.

In 2015, Arm announced the Cortex-A35 processor, which was the most efficient Arm processor for smartphones and tablets. The Cortex-A35 was used in devices such as the Nokia 2.1, the Samsung Galaxy J2 Core, and the Lenovo Tab M7.

In 2016, Arm was acquired by SoftBank Group for £24.3 billion, becoming a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate. The deal was motivated by SoftBank’s vision of investing in technologies that would drive the future of artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and smart cities.

In 2017, Arm launched Project Trillium, a suite of machine learning (ML) solutions that included an ML processor , an object detection processor , and an open-source software framework. The Project Trillium products aimed to enable low-power and high-performance ML applications on edge devices.

In 2018, Arm unveiled the Cortex-A76 processor , which offered a 35% performance boost over its predecessor. The Cortex-A76 was used in devices such as the OnePlus 7T, the Huawei MateBook D14, and the Acer Chromebook Spin 13.

In 2019, Arm announced the Cortex-A77 processor , which improved on its predecessor with a higher clock speed, a larger cache, and better branch prediction . The Cortex-A77 was used in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S20, the Asus ROG Phone II, and the Lenovo Yoga C940.

In 2020, Arm introduced the Cortex-X1 processor , which was its most powerful CPU design to date. The Cortex-X1 was designed to deliver peak performance for premium device , such as flagship smartphones, laptops and gaming consoles. The Cortex-X1 was used in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Xiaomi Mi 11, and the Google Pixel 6.

In 2021, Arm launched the Cortex-A78C processor , which was optimized for high-performance computing (HPC) applications. The Cortex-A78C featured up to eight CPU cores , a larger L3 cache, and support for ECC memory. The Cortex-A78C was used in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro, the HP Elite Folio , and the Acer Chromebook Spin 513.


In 2022, Arm unveiled the Cortex-A710 processor, which was its first big core to support the Armv9 architecture. The Cortex-A710 offered a 30% energy efficiency improvement over its predecessor, as well as enhanced security and ML features. The Cortex-A710 was used in devices such as the OnePlus 10 Pro, the Huawei MatePad Pro 2, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio.

In 2023, Arm announced the Immortalis GPU family , which was its next-generation graphics solution that included hardware-based ray-tracing and variable rate shading capabilities . The Immortalis GPUs aimed to deliver realistic and immersive graphics for gaming, VR and AR applications on mobile devices . The Immortalis GPUs were used in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra , the Sony Xperia 1 IV, and the Oculus Quest 3.

Powerful world presence

Arm is a leading semiconductor and software design company that has revolutionized the computing industry with its innovative and efficient processor architectures. Arm’s processors power billions of devices across various domains, such as mobile, IoT, AI, HPC, and gaming. Arm has been at the forefront of technological advancements for over three decades, delivering performance, energy efficiency, and security to its customers and partners.

Arm is a subsidiary of SoftBank Group and has a massive global presence.

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