UK chipmaker Arm is to axe 15% of its global workforce following the collapse of its $66 billion sale to computing giant Nvidia.

The Cambridge-headquartered firm, owned by Japanese giant SoftBank, said the majority of the up to 1,000 roles will be cut from its bases in the UK and US.

Arm has around 6,400 employees around the world.

“Like any business, Arm is continually reviewing its business plan to ensure the company has the right balance between opportunities and cost discipline,” read a company statement.

“Unfortunately, this process includes proposed redundancies across Arm’s global workforce.”

Arm’s processor technology is the world’s most widely licensed and deployed semiconductor design of its kind and is used in virtually all smartphones, the majority of tablets and digital TVs, and a significant proportion of all chips with embedded processors.

There has been a global shortage of chips caused by a multitude of factors including COVID-19.

Arm is now preparing to become a public company listed in the United States following the collapse of the Nvidia deal, which was terminated due to ‘significant regulatory challenges’.

Arm revealed in September 2020 that it had agreed a $40bn sale to the American graphics chip specialist, the value of which had risen to $66bn by the time it was shelved. Arm CEO Simon Segars was subsequently replaced by Rene Haas, head of its intellectual property unit.

The world’s largest ever semiconductor deal was expected to complete in 18 months but first faced a formal investigation from UK watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority before the UK government instructed the CMA to begin a ‘Phase 1’ investigation into specific considerations around competition, jurisdiction and national security. 

That report found concerns over whether, following the takeover, Arm would have an incentive to withdraw, raise prices or reduce the quality of its IP licensing services to Nvidia’s rivals.

Nvidia always said it would retain Arm’s neutrality and keep its IP registered in the UK – but two of Arm’s founders, Hermann Hauser and Tudor Brown, raised concerns of their own around whether the UK firm would remain neutral.