After years of intense focus on Internet services and software, chips are once again back in the spotlight, driven by the rise of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, cryptocurrencies and other technologies that require powerful hardware.
At the center of that is Arm, a company that doesn't make any of its own chips, but whose low-power semiconductor designs are used in everything from cars to sensors to cell phones. Long independent, Arm was acquired in 2016 by Japan's Softbank.
The bottom line: "I think that there's so much that appears to be changing at the same time," Arm CEO Simon Segars told Axios. "You've got all the advances of those first few waves, leading to a kind of intersection of the growth autonomous vehicles, the growth of [the Internet-of-Things], the deployment of 5G, A.I .— suddenly all this stuff is capable, and it's coming along at the same time... And it is ultimately delivered by the underlying semiconductor devices."
Axios recently interviewed Segars about Arm's future, life as part of SoftBank, and more.