ARM Holdings revealed that Apple has made a long-term commitment to keep using its chip designs over the next two decades at least.

Earlier this week in a regulatory filing with the US SEC, it was revealed that ARM had entered into a “new long-term agreement with Apple that extends beyond 2040.”

ARM and Apple has a long history together. Cambridge-based ARM was actually founded back in 1990 as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer, and VLSI Technology. ARM’s chip designs are used in 95 percent of smartphones due to their low power consumption.

ARM’s campus in Cambridge


ARM is shortly going to hold a public listing on Nasdaq at a total valuation that could be as high as $52 billion, which would be the biggest technology IPO this year.

The firm has been in talks with a number of big name tech giants (including Apple) about signing up as potential anchor investors.

ARM and its owner SoftBank have set aside 10 percent of the shares to be sold in the IPO for its clients.

Investing in ARM’s IPO will not deliver these investors a seat on ARM’s board, and neither will it allow them to dictate ARM’s strategy.

But investing early could strengthen ARM’s ties with each participating company and make it harder for a competitor to acquire the Cambridge,UK-based firm later.

This week ARM signed up many of its major clients as investors in its IPO, including the likes of Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet, Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, Samsung Electronics, Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys.

These strategic investors have agreed to invest between $25 million and $100 million each in the blockbuster IPO.

Apple deal

But in its paperwork filed with the SEC, it was revealed that Apple has signed a new long-term deal with ARM Holdings.

“We have established close partnerships with leading companies across all of our target markets, including, among others, Apple Inc., Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd., Samsung, vivo Mobile Communication Co., Ltd. and Xiaomi Communications Co., Ltd. in mobile computing, Amazon AWS and Alibaba Group Holding Limited in cloud compute, Cruise and Mercedes-Benz in advanced automotive, and Raspberry Pi Ltd, Schneider Electric SE and Siemens AG in industrial IoT,” ARM’s filing reads.

“Further, we have entered into a new long-term agreement with Apple that extends beyond 2040, continuing our longstanding relationship of collaboration with Apple and Apple’s access to the ARM architecture,” the paperwork states.

An ARM representative declined to comment to CNBC about the new deal and referred to the SEC filing.

Apple representatives also didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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