The Arm IPO—background and possibilities – Predictions, potentials, and pitfalls


The Arm IPO—background and possibilities – Predictions, potentials, and pitfalls

In the first part of this report, we look at the buildup to the Arm IPO. We look at where the company is on the starting blocks, pose questions about valuation, and the edge IoT and data center opportunities. The second section covers the competitive landscape, Arm product pricing models, why Arm GPU isn’t in the desktop and data center yet, and the relationship with Arm China. The third section covers the failed sale to Nvidia—and the reported new strategy for Arm growth revealed through the dispute with Qualcomm, including new licensing and royalty models and the chipset business. The report is full of insights, predictions, and some never-before-revealed aspects of Arm China and the IP industry.


A total of 95,500,000 ADSs are being offered by the selling shareholder, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., in the IPO. Arm expects the selling shareholder to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 7,000,000 ADSs to cover overallotments, if any, for 30 days after the date of the final prospectus. The IPO price per ADS is estimated to be between $47.00 and $51.00. Arm has applied to list the ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “ARM”.
Table of Contents
  • 1 Executive Summary 4
  • 2 Introduction 5
  • 3 Arm’s Key Challenges—at the Edge and in the Data center 6
    • 3.1 The edge 8
    • 3.2 The data center 9
  • 4 To GPU or Not to GPU, and the Still-Unfolding Story of Arm China 11
    • 4.1 Where is Arm’s GPU in the data center? 12
    • 4.2 The elephant we promised—Arm China 13
  • 5 How to Sell an IP Company 16

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1. Arm’s revenue dropped while owned by SoftBank. (Source: FT) 6
  • Figure 2. Masayoshi Son. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) 7
  • Figure 3. AI market growth over time. 8
  • Figure 4. Arm in the data center. (Source: Arm) 9
  • Figure 5. Arm thinks the flexibility in its product line will inspire system builders to apply it to data center applications. (Source: Arm) 10
  • Figure 6. Arm China’s headquarters. (Source: Architecture Daily) 11
  • Figure 7. Where’s the GPU? 13