Saturday, May 11, 2024

"SoftBank's Arm plans to launch AI chips in 2025"

From Nikkei Asia, May 12:

CEO Son seeks to invest $64bn, including in data centers and robotics

SoftBank Group subsidiary Arm will foray into the development of artificial intelligence chips, seeking to launch the first products next year.

The move is part of SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son's 10 trillion yen ($64 billion) push to transform the group into a sprawling AI powerhouse.

U.K.-based Arm will set up an AI chip division, aiming to build a prototype by spring 2025. Mass production, to be handled by contract manufacturers, is expected to start in the fall of that year.

Arm already supplies circuit designs called architecture to Nvidia and other chip developers. The company holds an over 90% share in architecture for processors used in smartphones.

Arm, in which SoftBank owns a 90% stake, will shoulder initial development costs, expected to reach hundreds of billions of yen, with SoftBank also contributing. Once a mass-production system is established, the AI chip business could be spun off and placed under SoftBank....


For a guy who considers himself very forward-thinking he seems a bit slow on the uptake. 

The Nikkei article goes on to say:

....Under Son's vision of an AI revolution, SoftBank aims to expand to data centers, robots and power generation. He envisions bringing together the latest AI, semiconductor and robotics technologies to spur innovation in various industries....

All of which could have been pursued years ago rather than the stuff SoftBank and the Vision Fund were actually plowing money into: DoorDash, GoTo, Didi, WeWork and the rest of the menagerie..

Not exactly high-tech. 

On the other hand he bought Arm Holdings and I didn't.