AZ Central: Arizona gains smartphone chip designer, jobs
The company, which designs processors used in top smartphones and tablets, establishes a small operation in Chandler.
One of the world’s leading designers of processors used in smartphones and tablets is setting up shop in Arizona.
ARM is leasing space at a city of Chandler tech incubator while it looks for a permanent location that eventually could accommodate more workers, according to a city document.
The company, which was founded in 1990 and is based in the United Kingdom, designs processors and related technologies used in smartphones, tablets and host of other digitally driven products, licensing the technology to other firms that manufacture and market the processors. In May, it was named No. 5 on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies.”
ARM, which employs about 3,300 people worldwide, is starting out small in Arizona with 33 employees at the Chandler site near McClintock Drive and Chandler Boulevard while it searches for a permanent location that could accommodate up to 55 workers, according to a report to the Chandler City Council from the city’s economic development staff.
City officials reached out to ARM and offered the space as part of an effort to attract the company to a permanent location in the city, said Micah Miranda, Chandler’s economic development director.
As an incentive, the City Council agreed to refund the cost of three months’ rent if ARM permanently locates in Chandler. The total cost of the reimbursement would be $15,560. The city report says the total seven-month lease would cost the company $41,685 without the reimbursement.
Miranda said ARM’s presence would further bolster Chandler’s reputation as a home for technology-driven companies.
“They are really a research-driven organization,” he said. “By some accounts, for every STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) job, there are four ancillary jobs produced….they are very much an economic driver.’’
Phil Hughes, an ARM spokesman, declined to provide further details on its future plans in Chandler or Arizona.
The team that is locating in the Chandler space will develop “future generations” of ARM processors, Hughes said.
The Innovations Incubator, which opened in 2010, provides work space for start-ups and emerging companies working in technology and life sciences fields. About 16 tenants occupy space at the facility, which is more than 90 percent filled, Miranda said.
The city operates the incubator in partnership with the University of Arizona Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, and the non-profit Small Business Development Center.