Nvidia buys Arm for US$40 billion - Hardware

Tuesday, 15 Sep, 2020

The opposition to the deal is two-fold.

Hauser and Tudor Brown, another ARM cofounder, have been outspoken critics of the sale to Nvidia, which has been trailed in the press for some time. Arm's tech powers mobile device processors for several companies including Samsung, Apple, and Qualcomm.

The chief executives of Nvidia and Arm told Reuters in an interview that Nvidia will retain Arm's United Kingdom headquarters - which exempt it from many USA export control laws - and open licensing model.

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In its press release about the deal, Nvidia has made a number of statements created to ease government, regulatory, and industry tensions about the deal. Sign up today to get telecom news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Arm will continue to be headquartered in Cambridge, with Nvidia expanding the campus to include a new AI research center as well as investing in a "state-of-the-art, Arm-powered supercomputer". There are far more devices shipped each quarter running on ARM CPUs than x86 chips and GPU shipments per quarter combined, but volume alone doesn't dictate valuation.

The UK's government will scrutinise the deal, including what it might mean for the company's headquarters in England, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. In a press release Nvidia heralded the deal as bringing together its leadership in artificial intelligence with Arm's vast computing ecosystem "to drive innovation for all customers". Apple does not need ARM to be an independent unit in order to license the chips.

"AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing", Huang said. "For Arm's ecosystem, the combination will turbocharge Arm's R&D capacity and expand its IP portfolio with Nvidia's world-leading GPU and AI technology".

Under Huang, Nvidia has risen rapidly up the ranks of technology companies in market value and influence.

Softbank's founder Masayoshi Son described the firm as being a "crystal ball" that would help him predict where tech was heading.

NVIDIA announced that it has acquired Arm to the tune of $40 billion.

Arm posted revenue of about $1.9 billion in revenues last year while Nvidia posted revenues of close $11 billion in its last fiscal year. Additionally, SoftBank may receive up to $5 billion in cash or common stock under an earn-out construct, subject to satisfaction of specific financial performance targets by Arm.

"Arm and Nvidia share a vision and passion that ubiquitous, energy-efficient computing will help address the world's most pressing issues from climate change to healthcare, from agriculture to education", said Simon Segars, CEO of Arm, which designs the chips used in nearly every mobile phone.

The sale of Arm, which is owned by SoftBank subsidiary SoftBank Group Capital Limited and the Vision Fund, is expected to face intense regulatory scrutiny and could take 18 months to complete.