Nvidia in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire Arm

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Nvidia is in advanced talks to acquire SoftBank Group's Arm Holdings, according to Bloomberg.



A potential sale of Arm to Nvidia, the world's largest graphics chipmaker, was rumored earlier this month. Nvidia's market value has increased to almost $260 billion in recent months, surpassing that of Intel. Arm has also become considerably more valuable as it pushes its architecture into smart cars, data centers, and networking technology. The purchase of Arm would help to transform Nvidia into a major player in the semiconductor industry.

Nvidia is reportedly the only company now in advanced negotiations with SoftBank to buy Arm. The two companies intend to reach a deal in the next few weeks. Representatives for Nvidia, SoftBank, and Arm declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Apple has licensed technology from Arm for its A-series chips used in iOS devices since 2006, and Apple is planning to expand the use of Arm-based chips to Macs, with the upcoming launch of Macs equipped with Apple Silicon. Arm also licenses to various other companies such as Qualcomm, Advanced Micro Devices, and Intel. Companies that use Arm technology would likely not be in favor of a deal with Nvidia that does not include explicit assurances that Arm's instruction set will continue to be available for equal licensing opportunities.

SoftBank reportedly approached Apple to see if it was interested in the purchase of Arm. Despite preliminary discussions, Apple does not plan to pursue a bid because of Arm's licensing requirements and possible regulatory concerns.

If completed, a deal with Nvidia could be the largest ever in the semiconductor industry, and would likely attract scrutiny from monopoly regulators, particularly as Nvidia is a customer of Arm. SoftBank initially acquired Arm for $32 billion four years ago since it was a neutral party that could not be the subject of a dispute. A sale to Nvidia would probably not have a major impact on Apple's licensing of Arm technology because of the regulatory requirements that would accompany such a deal.

Article Link: Nvidia in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire Arm
 

poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
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Considering the apparent animosity Apple has toward NVIDIA, I wonder how comfortable Apple is going to be licensing from them, especially now with desktop processors. I wonder if future Apple Silicon is going to be ARM-less... when you control the whole stack, do you even need the ARM instruction-set anymore?
 

springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,119
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Apple don’t care about this - I used to work for ARM, and one thing people joke about there is how Apple just licenses the instruction set. Everything about how that is implemented is custom.

For the rest of the industry, this sucks big-time. Nvidia are a very aggressive company. We were all wondering what Jenson had up his sleeve (he always has something, and it always turns out to be enough to save Nvidia for the next decade+).
 

bodonnell202

macrumors 68000
Jan 5, 2016
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Considering the apparent animosity Apple has toward NVIDIA, I wonder how comfortable Apple is going to be licensing from them, especially now with desktop processors. I wonder if future Apple Silicon is going to be ARM-less... when you control the whole stack, do you even need the ARM instruction-set anymore?
Apple already has an architecture license with ARM so I don’t see anything changing in the short term, but I could see this motivating Apple to develop their own instruction set in the long term.
 

iKnowMr.Jobs

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2010
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I don’t think this will affect Apple very much, but this is certainly a good sign for Nintendo, who is the driving force of sales of Tegra chips in the Switch. This type of investment will solidify nVidia’s further development of the line.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
7,097
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Sunnyvale, CA
Considering the apparent animosity Apple has toward NVIDIA, I wonder how comfortable Apple is going to be licensing from them, especially now with desktop processors. I wonder if future Apple Silicon is going to be ARM-less... when you control the whole stack, do you even need the ARM instruction-set anymore?
It’s not apparent animosity, it’s definitely real. Blame the guy in the leather jacket.
Apple already has an architecture license with ARM so I don’t see anything changing in the short term, but I could see this motivating Apple to develop their own instruction set in the long term.
I keep expecting some Apple instruction set extensions, specifically to accelerate x86-64 emulation in forthcoming Apple silicon.
 

Jyby

macrumors 6502a
May 31, 2011
647
590
I’m surprised Xerox or IBM didn’t bid for Arm... You’d think one of those multi tech giants would have gotten into Arm.
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2008
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I think SoftBank should do an IPO for ARM. In this funny money environment that we are in, ARM will easily be valued at more than the $32B that they paid for it and they won't have to worry about any regulatory hassles.
 

macsplusmacs

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2014
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I think SoftBank should do an IPO for ARM. In this funny money environment that we are in, ARM will easily be valued at more than the $32B that they paid for it and they won't have to worry about any regulatory hassles.
I think one reason why Softbank would not be into this is that they would have to hold their money in stock for quite a long time. And since they took a freaking bath on their super fund including losing their shirts on WeWork, they are looking for cold hard cash about now.
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2008
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I think one reason why Softbank would not be into this is that they would have to hold their money in stock for quite a long time. And since they took a freaking bath on their super fund including losing their shirts on WeWork, they are looking for cold hard cash about now.
They would get some at the IPO too depending on the how much of the ownership they decide to give up. And should they choose to retain ownership, they can leverage their holdings to generate more cash.
 
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