“The chip designers at ARM Holdings have turned the computing world upside down, shaken Intel to its core, pulled AMD into its orbit, and broadened its range beyond mobile into every nook and cranny of the digital world, from toys to servers,” Rik Myslewski writes for The Register. “But where did this UK wonder company come from? How does it earn its living? And how did Apple help create the company that helped Steve Jobs save Cupertino from annihilation?”

“At the recent ARM TechCon developers conference, ARM’s training and education manager Chris Shore answered those questions and more,” Myslewski writes. “ARM’s first CEO was Robin Saxby, who wasn’t the founder of the company, but instead had been headhunted by the founders to run the show. Smart move, seeing as how Saxby came up with the licensing business model that has turned ARM into a global powerhouse. That business model was born partly out of necessity. With only 12 employees, it didn’t have the resources to turn its chips designs into products.”

“Those resources, by the way, were provided by ARM’s first funders: Apple, Acorn, and VLSI,” Myslewski writes. “When Jobs returned to Apple and shortly took control of the company in the late ’90s, Apple was in dire straits financially. As part of the turnaround that he helped engineer, Jobs raised a boatload of cash, Shore said, ‘by selling Apple’s stock holding in ARM, which was worth a considerable amount of money. So arguably we’ve outlived two of our parents and saved the life of the third.’”

Much more in the full article here.