Remember when NVIDIA tried to survive in the mobile chip market? It was interesting and exciting, and it ended pretty quickly – now you only see Tegra on SHIELD and Switch. However, NVIDIA is making a big comeback: with the purchase of Arm Limited, which licenses the design for most of the world̵
NVIDIA announced Sunday that it intends to acquire Arm Limited and buy it from its current parent company SoftBank for $ 40 billion in cash and shares. As the world’s leading manufacturer of graphics processors, NVIDIA is no stranger to the chip design process, or even Arm’s design licensee business model. The deal would make NVIDIA a key player in the wireless market and beyond practically overnight.
Some background knowledge: Arm Limited (also known as Arm Holdings or simply “ARM”) designs chip architectures and then licenses them to manufacturers who actually build the chips in their own factories. So Arm designed a new generation of chip foundations. Companies like Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, and MediaTek pay for these designs, customize them to suit their needs, and then make the chips themselves to fit into your phone, tablet, or low-low device. powered computer and so on. NVIDIA is not buying the companies that make Snapdragon, Apple silicon, Exynos, and Yadda-Yadda chips, but rather the technology on which they are all based.
NVIDIA plans to keep Arm in its current headquarters in Cambridge, England, adding a new AI research facility and supercomputing center. As part of the acquisition, NVIDIA will distribute $ 1.5 billion in equity to current Arm employees.
But the deal is far from over. NVIDIA’s press release said the company hopes to go through the regulatory process in 18 months, which appears optimistic. The PR also says they need approval from relevant government agencies in the US, UK, European Union and China. The EU has been against US tech acquisitions for decades, and the US government’s very public battle over TiqTok is unlikely to accelerate the regulatory process in China.