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Mobile chip giant Arm opening Bellevue office with focus on artificial intelligence and IoT development

Aerial view of the Central District, Lake Washington, and Bellevue. (Flickr Photo / Joe Wolf)

One of the most influential companies in tech has jumped on the Seattle-area bandwagon: Arm, which designs the mobile chips that power virtually every smartphone on the planet, is opening a Bellevue-based engineering center as it eyes the talent pool in the Pacific Northwest.

The new office will be working on research and development of artificial intelligence, robotics, and health care, Arm said in a blog post announcing the move. “Due to the density of major cloud and IoT players in the region, and their investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence, Seattle is the ideal place to work alongside customers and partners who are building the software and services that will power and connect the next 100 billion Arm-based devices,” wrote Rex St. John, senior manager for IoT ecosystem at Arm.

Arm doesn’t actually manufacture chips, but it puts together the designs that other companies, such as Apple and Samsung, incorporate at the heart of their mobile processors. Those blueprints can also be found in chips running some industrial automation and connected home devices within the Internet of Things.

There has also been talk of using Arm’s designs at the heart of data center chips, which has been mostly talk as Intel’s chips have maintained their stranglehold on the servers that power cloud computing for an awfully long time. However, some cloud vendors — notably new Eastside neighbor Microsoft — have been quite public about their interest in using Arm-designed chips within the data centers. Cloud City would be an ideal place to test and develop Arm server chips.

There are currently 13 people working for Arm in Bellevue, but the new space just south of downtown has room for up to 30 employees, a company representative said. Arm, which was acquired by Japanese conglomerate Softbank last year, is headquartered in Cambridge, England.

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