A Message from Arm CEO Simon Segars

Like all of you, our thoughts are dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and I expect that will be the case for many months to come. But while we are working hard to support our people and partners, we are also looking to do more.

Our first priority was to protect our employees and contractors, and we moved very fast to become a near-virtual company almost overnight. The flexibility of our operating model allows us to cope very well and we do not expect any significant project delays. Beyond that, we have established a permanent global COVID-19 Response Team to engage local communities, governments and key partners to understand where we can lean in. Our goal is to find areas where we can meaningfully make a difference.

So far, we have allocated $2 million toward response efforts, half towards local community programs and the rest to support the global cause. Further to this, our people are also donating, and we hope to push the fund up by a further $1 million.

As well as contributing financially there’s more we can do as a technology company, and we will. The following are a few things our Response Team is already pushing:

  • Stepping up support for customers using Arm Connectivity Services for solutions they’re providing to critical health services, public bodies, elderly care and lone-worker safety systems.
  • Offering a standby IT team to support new military field hospitals in the UK if they are required.
  • Working with Amplio, a technology partner providing Talking Books to vulnerable communities globally to update their devices with COVID-19 prevention information.
  • Supporting Simprints, a company using Arm-based technology in a touchless ID system designed for pandemic response.
  • Championing the Rosetta@Home project, driven by the Arm developer community, as it releases support for 64-bit Arm-based devices to enable them to run protein folding computation and accelerate the creation of readily-available diagnostics that can help business and schools reopen.
  • Partnering with UNICEF who are updating their vital U-Report texting system to distribute COVID-19 advice, particularly to young people.
  • Launching a joint initiative with the UN Development Program and Hackster.io to rally 1 million+ developers to create new low-cost tools to detect virus carriers and help slow disease transmission.

In addition, I note that RIKEN has announced the Fugaku Arm-based supercomputer is being made available for researchers working on COVID-19 projects. The machine will not be fully operational until 2021 but the team is opening up time on it now so its advanced capabilities can be used to “accelerate the scientific process of diagnosis and treatment, as well as the general prevention of infection spread, to contribute to the early termination of the pandemic.”

The key thing to remember is the global response to this pandemic has to be immediate and long term, and we are following that same path. We are simultaneously looking at medium-term technology projects working with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Gates Foundation. All of these partners are extremely experienced in tackling major disasters and they will guide our efforts so we’re as effective as possible.

This is a very personal situation. All of us are affected - directly and indirectly - but what I see shining through everywhere is hope. I see people applauding the efforts of health workers, obeying restrictions that in normal times we’d rebel against. We all see the big picture and know what must be done. Arm is in the fight with you and we’ll do all we can to help.


Simon Segars