Reports: ARM agrees to create Chinese IP firm

May 25, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Processor intellectual property (IP) company ARM and a venture capital fund it helped form in China have agreed to form a Chinese joint venture to create intellectual property for IC designs, according to reports.

UK-based ARM and China's Hopu formed the Hopu-ARM Innovation Fund in January 2017 (see ARM VC fund formed for China). At the time the intended value of the fund was not disclosed and nor whether ARM, part of the SoftBank Group of Japan, had invested in the fund. However, the Beijing-based fund has subsequently been reported to have $800 million at its disposal. Investors include: China Investment Corp:, Silk Road Fund, Singapore's Temasak Holdings, ARM, Hopu Investment Management and Shum Yip Group.

Now local reports state that ARM and the Hopu-ARM Innovation Fund have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that they will establish a joint venture in Shenzhen to develop intellectual property products for use in IC designs.

A Chinese-language article in The Commercial Times reportedly said that the joint venture would utilize ARM's technical prowess to develop IP and ICs for applications in the areas high-performance computing, graphics management artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

The reports said ARM would provide the joint venture with related IP, technical support and training and the investment fund would manage the joint venture. ARM will provide the joint venture with related IP products, technology support and personal training, while the China-based partner will control the management of the joint venture.

What remains unclear is how ARM will ensure the joint-venture does not represent a conflict of interest with its own business model as the joint-venture seems to be pursuing the same markets and applications as ARM.

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