softbank-botNames like Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, Apple, and Huawei have been tossed around a lot when it comes to the chipsets found on our smartphones. However for the most part, a lot of these companies base their chipsets on the designs by a UK-based company called ARM, and now it looks like ARM could soon be owned by Japan’s SoftBank.

SoftBank has recently announced that they will be acquiring ARM for a whopping $32 billion, according to a report from the Financial Times (paywall). Given that we’ve already seen SoftBank express their interest in the mobile space in other countries by acquiring a majority stake in Sprint, this acquisition makes perfect sense.

As it stands, the number of chips that contain ARM-designed processors is at 15 billion. This is an increase of about 9 billion since 2010. So far it sounds like SoftBank is the only company that has publicly announce their plans, but it has been speculated that maybe other companies could place their bids on the company, thus sparking a bidding war.

After all with so many devices relying on ARM’s designs, obviously there are some who’d rather not SoftBank monopolize the market. ARM’s designs aren’t just exclusive to smartphones as they can be used in tablets, smart cars, internet-of-things sensors, and so on, so obviously there is a huge potential that can be tapped into.

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