Nvidia reportedly eyeing CPU designer Arm

Arm Ltd., the company that supplies semiconductor designs and instruction sets to some of the biggest computing hardware manufacturers in the world, might be up for sale soon, and Nvidia is reportedly eyeing a purchase, Bloomberg reports.

Arm Ltd. is a semiconductor designer based in England currently owned by Japanese company SoftBank Group Corp., and SoftBank is reportedly looking to put Arm on the auction block. According to Bloomberg’s report, Nvidia has approached SoftBank about a potential deal. It’s far from a sure thing, Bloomberg’s sources say, with other potential bidders waiting in the wings.

SoftBank wants sell all or part of its stake in Arm–along with some other holdings–to prepare for Covid-19’s aftereffects. SoftBank purchased Arm in 2016 for $32 billion, and recent developments, like Apple’s shift from Intel CPUs to its own, Arm-based chips, likely make the company worth even more.

Apple says No Thanks

Apple reportedly has already passed on a bid after SoftBank approached the company. The Cupertino-based company uses Arm’s instruction sets to build its own chips. The chips power its mobile devices and will soon power its laptop and desktop systems. Arm doesn’t make chips, however. The company sells semiconductor designs and instruction sets, which are then used by companies like Apple and Nvidia and manufactured by companies like TSMC and Samsung. Apple doesn’t want to take on Arm’s licensing business, writes Bloomberg.

Further, any company purchasing Arm would likely run into regulatory concerns. Arm has or once had licensing deals with a variety of companies in the hardware space; whether it was Apple, Nvidia, or someone else purchasing Arm, they would then be licensing chips to their competitors. With those regulatory concerns in mind, it’s easy to see how most of the companies in the computing industry would pass over an Arm purchase. Instead, it seems more likely that another holding company like SoftBank could step in.

5 4 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
FraidyCatTacticsNya
FraidyCatTacticsNya
2 months ago

This is all just Softbank trying to get all the Big Custom ARM players to get some excess cash made available for an ARM Holdings IPO and Softbank a way out of its other, non related to Arm Holdings, poor investment decisions.   So all the big players like Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, and quite a few others that would rather ARM Holdings be back as a publicly traded company and not in Nvidia’s or anyone’s hands and doing what ARM Holdings does best, Licensing. And this is mostly Softbank’s fault with their other poor investing decisions. Remember, as well, that… Read more »

chuckula
chuckula
2 months ago

Look Ngreedia, we canceled 7nm today JUST BECAUSE OF THIS NEWS.
 
So you better follow through or we are going to be rather embarrassed over here at having to actually get it shipping!

Star Brood
Star Brood
2 months ago
Reply to  chuckula

Ouch, guess+ they++ need+++ some++++ help+++++.

chuckula
chuckula
2 months ago
Reply to  Star Brood

I needed some good news to counteract the sad truth that Tiger Lake isn’t canceled.
 
INTEL DELIVERED!

Blastdoor
Blastdoor
2 months ago
Reply to  chuckula

Yeah, but seriously — what is wrong with Intel?

Blastdoor
Blastdoor
2 months ago

How about Amazon? It would boost their efforts to make server CPUs to replace x86, which they could use for AWS and license to others (plus the rest of the ARM licensing). Amazon sees themselves as an “infrastructure” company, and ARM is kind of infrastructure-y in a way…

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2 months ago
Reply to  Blastdoor

Well, that would be complicated. Their hardware sector isnt known to be industry leading. All i see is an online store that sells items for twice or even three times the price of their competitors to make that trillion dollar valuation.

chuckula
chuckula
2 months ago
Reply to  Al Bundy

Amazon has licensed a rather vanilla ARM design and really doesn’t have any hardware experience outside of that area.   Apple would certainly be a logical choice although they literally don’t care about ARM outside of getting an instruction set that has a decent amount of support internally/externally. ARM’s profits from the licensing side are so pitiful that they would be better off convincing Taylor Swift to drop an extra album to get the same money through iTunes.   Nvidia does make sense as a stalking horse, although frankly I’d expect this to be a ploy to make ARM look… Read more »

JustAnEngineer
JustAnEngineer
2 months ago
Reply to  chuckula

Reputation was non-musical trash Bad auto-tuning, bad fake drum tracks — just bad..

chuckula
chuckula
2 months ago
Reply to  JustAnEngineer

Well that sums up my thoughts about Apple products in general but I never said it was about quality…. just the money grab.

chuckula
chuckula
2 months ago

Nvidia: We got tired of people complaining that we figuratively charge an ARM and a leg.
 
So we at least have the ARM part of the solution in the works! Don’t worry, we can come up with a leg too. I mean, I can get you a toe leg.
 
Soon you’ll be able to stop with your figurative complaints and all you millenial types will finally be accurate when you say that we literally charge an ARM and a leg!

Kevin Amery
Kevin Amery
2 months ago
Reply to  chuckula

Once the ARM purchase goes through, NVidia will buy LG. You heard it here first.
 
 
 
(…and probably never will again…)

12
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This