Fast Track 100

Advanced RISC Machines licenses microprocessor technology for products ranging from mobile phones to Internet appliances. Exports accounted for 100% of its 1996 turnover of £17m. It licenses its microprocessor to 24 companies, all outside the UK, including Digital, NEC, Rockwell, and Samsung. Its RISC processors are known for their speed, low cost and their power efficiency which suit battery driven devices. The Cambridge based company was set up with corporate capital from Apple and Acorn Computers in 1990 in conjunction with founder, Robin Saxby. Apple needed an advanced microprocessor for its Apple Newton and Acorn had developed a capability in the area. ARM was recently rated by the American technology magazine, Red Herring, as one of the “hottest technology companies in Europe”.

Update: ARM was acquired by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp in 2016 for £24.4bn

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Company details
Year1997
Rank54
CompanyAdvanced Risc Machines (now ARM Holdings)
ActivityDevelopment of RISC microprocessors for licensing globally
LocationCambridge
Annual sales rise over 3 years86.90%
Latest sales £000s16,694
Staff141
Founded1985

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* supplied by company † annualised figure