Nvidia seeks to acquire chip designer ARM Limited from SoftBank

SoftBank’s ARM Limited is attracting takeover interest from Nvidia in what could become the biggest-ever semiconductor deal, Bloomberg News reports, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple's Arm-based A13 Bionic SoC
Apple’s ARM-based A13 Bionic SoC is fabricated by TSMC
Liana Baker, Giles Turner, Dinesh Nair, and Nabila Ahmed for Bloomberg News:

Nvidia, the world’s largest graphics chipmaker, made an approach in recent weeks about a potential deal for Cambridge, England-based Arm, according to the people. SoftBank has been exploring options to exit part or all of its stake in the business, which it acquired for $32 billion in 2016, Bloomberg News has reported.

Other potential bidders could also emerge, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia’s interest may not lead to a deal, and SoftBank could opt to pursue a listing of the business instead, the people said…

SoftBank previously owned a stake in Nvidia, having quietly amassed $4 billion of shares in 2017, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The Japanese firm said in early 2019 that the Vision Fund had sold off all of its Nvidia holding…

Any customer trying to acquire Arm would trigger regulatory scrutiny. Other companies using its technology would likely oppose a deal and demand assurances that a new owner would continue to provide equal access to Arm’s instruction set. Such concerns resulted in a neutral company — SoftBank — buying Arm the last time it was for sale.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, the most logical outcome is a consortium or another neutral company, not Nvidia alone, buying ARM Limited should Softbank sell.

7 Comments

  1. Eventually, Apple won’t even be using an ARM license. Apple’s developed so many of their own core Compute architectures, the main instruction set is next.

    Secure Enclave, Neural Engine, Graphics, T2, camera and likely a host of smaller support chipsets I don’t even know about. So much of what Apple has done and where they are going, Intel and ARM have nothing for Apple.

    ARM or nVIDIA, Apple won’t be needing either of them in a few years.

  2. ARM was acquired by a Japanese company just after Brexit when the GBP fell to an all time low. Why isn’t the article writer or MDN aware of that? If it’s news to talk about an ARM sale today it was news then too?

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