Nvidia in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire Arm

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

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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.

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Top Rated Comments

springsup Avatar
51 months ago
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+).
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bodonnell202 Avatar
51 months ago

Why wouldn't Intel buy ARM?
I suspect it would never be approved as it would basically give Intel a monopoly when it comes to CPUs.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsplusmacs Avatar
51 months ago

I still think Apple should of bought them, but I’m no executive. What do I know?
Too much anti trust issues.

+ Apple 99.9999999% has a license that says you can sell to martians and that does not change a dang thing to our license. its perpetual and total.

would be my guess
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nugget Avatar
51 months ago

When does the patent expire for ARM?
There is no "the" patent for Arm. I'm sure Arm Holdings has thousands of patents.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ilikewhey Avatar
51 months ago
wow, this is gonna be pretty big for nvidia, i'm still bitter about not able to use geforce cards for my mbp egpu.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
poorcody Avatar
51 months ago
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?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)