Apple signs new long-term deal for continued chip development

The deal would “extend beyond 2040.”
Loukia Papadopoulos
Representational image of computer chips being built.jpg
Representational image of computer chips being built.


Apple and Arm have a new long-term agreement for chip technology, according to documents Arm filed on Tuesday for its initial public offering (IPO). The deal, the filings noted, would “extend beyond 2040.”

This is according to a report by Reuters published on Wednesday.

An IPO of $52 billion

The price range for Arm's anticipated IPO is $52 billion, which would make it the biggest IPO in the United States in 2023. SoftBank Group, the firm that owns Arm, intends to sell 95.5 million American depository shares of the London-based company for between $47 and $51 each, noted the news outlet.

Apple's chip technology, commonly referred to as Apple Silicon, is a group of custom made processors built on Arm's architecture as system-on-chip (SoC) packages that are used in Apple's Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, and other products. Apple has been switching its Macs away from Intel CPUs in favor of its own, unique chips based on the Arm architecture, which in many ways is superior. 

Apple stated its intention to switch its Mac series from Intel CPUs to specially created Arm-based processors back in June 2020. This transition represents a fundamental change in Apple's hardware approach, giving the company greater control over the fusion of its hardware and software.

Apple's specially crafted CPUs, including the Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max, are famous worldwide due to their superior performance and decreased power consumption, with Apple referring to them as the most powerful chips it has built. These processors, frequently called "big.LITTLE" architecture, combine high-performance and energy-efficient cores and are created exclusively for Apple devices.

Meanwhile, custom-built Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), which are renowned for their graphics prowess and capabilities for machine learning and artificial intelligence activities, are also incorporated into Apple Silicon chips.

The unified memory architecture found in Apple Silicon processors enables CPUs, GPUs, and other parts to share the same high-bandwidth memory. 

Apple frequently integrates specialized coprocessors, such as the Secure Enclave for security-related operations and the Neural Engine for AI and machine learning workloads, onto their CPUs.

Winning plaudits

This has resulted in the company winning plaudits for products such as MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini, due to the enhanced performance and reduced energy consumption achieved by Apple Silicon.

With each new edition of its products, Apple is anticipated to release improved versions of its CPUs, which it continues to invest in developing. 

Apple's decision to develop its own CPUs has enabled the corporation to provide closer hardware and software integration, improving user experiences and performance across the board for its products. This new deal will help with this lofty goal.

The majority of smartphones today rely on a computer architecture developed by Arm. The firm licenses this architecture to companies like Apple and numerous others. 

Apple and Arm have long been in business with each other. Before the launch of their "Newton" portable computer in 1993, which utilized an Arm-based processor chip, Apple was one of the first companies that joined to form the company in 1990. 

Despite the “Newton” being a failure, the firms have achieved many breakthroughs together. Partially due to their cooperation, Arm today rules mobile phone processors.

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