Pokemon illuminates ARM deal

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Pokemon illuminates ARM deal

Every time a Pokemon Go fan drains their smartphone battery chasing virtual monsters, it’s a reminder that chip technology has a long way to go.

The company poised to push the boundaries of mobile computing is ARM Holdings Plc, which has built a business designing chips that squeeze the most out of limited battery capacity on mobile devices, dominating 85 percent of the market. Masayoshi Son built SoftBank Group by making big, early bets on PCs, broadband and smartphones. Now, he’s spending $32 billion to buy ARM, gambling that the company’s chips will find their way into self-driving cars, virtual-reality devices and machines with artificial intelligence. Pokemon Go, which relies on GPS and camera functions to work, is showing people the limits of their smartphones.

“ARM holds licenses to core technologies, so Son is effectively taking control of the roulette table,” said Yoshihisa Toyosaki, an analyst at Architect Grand Design. “It would be interesting to see how his thinking will impact ARM’s strategy.” Bloomberg
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