Remember Intel Inside?

Now it ARM Inside

  • Apple
  • Tesla
  • Nvidia
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon
  • Everything?

ARM does not sell products, it licenses the architecture creating a steady revenue stream.

ARM is a hardware company that does not make hardware, only software.

The Captain


Cumulative number of Arm-based chips reported as shipped by the end of March 2023

32 chips for every human alive: 258,500,000,000 chips


I remember some debates on the old Fool from people who laughed at ARM, saying they could never catch up to Intel. Catch up? They could never pretend to be a factor in their field! They should just cash out and give the money back to shareholders.

I had no dog in the fight, but I will say Intel looked pretty unstoppable there for a while. Then …

I bet there’s a good book in there someplace.


ARM, in many ways, is the most gifted child of the RISC clan of anti-Intel innovators. My last forays in electronics were in designing/building specialty app boxes based on the the “proto-RISC” specialized M6809 made by Motorola, my favorite chip of all time.

The 6809 was stunning in its 8 bit capabilities when 16 bit was taking over everything, and crucially the 6809 could run the amazingly powerful extremely slimmed down version of Unix called OS-9.

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Old book:

New book:
We weren’t paranoid enough



My favorite through line from 17th century Hapsburgian idiot bureaucratic colonialist socieities through to what overtook Intel is caught in the phrase “Que no haya novedades!”, “Let there be no innovations!”

david fb


Is Bureaucratic Sclerosis why disruptive innovation disrupts incumbents? They already knew this in the 17 century?

The Captain

1 Like
  1. Bureaucratic Sclerosis is NOT the root of the problem, but rather wealthy, contented, “I got mine and so don’t bother me”, rentiers minded people, who instead of innovating try to set things up to insure that no novedades arise to displace them

  2. The history of the phenomenon is traced by the strange and indicative honorific “hidalgo”, a contraction of “hijo de algo”, meaning a son of somebody (a ‘somebody’ with power/wealth), itself probably a mozarabic translation from the arabic ibn nās with the same meaning probably dating back to the century after the 7th C (never mind 17th) Arab conquest of North Africa. We all know them. The Spanish Hapsburgian take over of Spain embodied their values.

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