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British Industrial History

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ARM Holdings

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ARM Holdings plc is a British multinational semiconductor and software design company headquartered in Cambridge.

Its largest business is in design of processors, although it also designs software development tools under the RealView and KEIL brands, systems and platforms, system-on-a-chip infrastructure and software

1990 The Company was founded in November 1990 as Advanced RISC Machines, structured as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) and VLSI Technology.

1993 Its first profitable year was 1993.

1994 The Company's Silicon Valley and Tokyo offices were opened.

1997 ARM Holdings invested in Palmchip Corporation to provide a system-on-chip platform and to enter the disk drive market.

1998 the Company changed its name from Advanced RISC Machines Ltd to ARM Ltd.

The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in 1998.

1999 ARM acquired Micrologic Solutions, a software consulting company based in Cambridge.

Further expansion followed in 2000 when ARM acquired Allant Software, a developer of debugging software; Infinite Designs, a design company based in Sheffield and EuroMIPS, a smart card design house in Sophia Antipolis, France.

2001 ARM acquired the engineering team of Noral Micrologics, a debug hardware and software company based in Blackburn, UK.

2002 The Company's China office was opened.

2003 ARM acquired Adelante Technologies of Belgium, creating its OptimoDE data engines business, a form of lightweight DSP engine.

2004, ARM acquired Axys Design Automation, a developer of ESL design tools; and Artisan Components, a designer of Physical IP (standard cell libraries, Memory Compilers, PHYs etc.), the building blocks of integrated circuits.

2005 Further acquisitions followed in 2005 when ARM acquired KEIL Software, a leading developer of software development tools for the microcontroller market, including 8051 and C16x platforms. ARM also acquired the engineering team of PowerEscape.

2006 ARM acquired Falanx (now called ARM Norway), a developer of 3D graphics accelerators, and SOISIC, who specialise in developing silicon-on-insulator physical IP.

2010 ARM joined with IBM, Texas Instruments, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Freescale Semiconductor in forming a Not-For-Profit Open Source engineering company, Linaro.

2011 ARM bought Obsidian Software Inc., a privately held company that creates processor verification products.

In November 2011, ARM acquired Prolific, a developer of automated layout optimization software tools - the Prolific team joined the ARM physical IP team.


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