Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Thursday, December 3, 2020
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Reports: Nvidia Deal for Arm Advances 

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Update: Sunday, Sept. 13 at 8pm ET, Arm and Nvidia announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SoftBank in a transaction valued at $40 billion. Additional reporting is forthcoming.


Multiple news outlets reported over the weekend that Nvidia is closing a deal with SoftBank to acquire chip IP vendor Arm Ltd.

Those reports pegged the cash-and-stock transaction at more than $40 billion. Despite earlier speculation about other suitors, including chip rival Intel Corp., Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) was reported to be furthest in its negotiations with SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion.

SoftBank has been selling off assets as earlier bets on the rise of connected devices have failed to pay off. The company’s Vision Fund reportedly suffered a $13 billion annual loss in its fiscal year ending in March 2020.

Acquiring Arm would solidify Nvidia’s standing as a major player in wireless and other markets as it makes steady inroads in enterprise datacenters. The graphics leader has released a steady stream of ever-more powerful GPUs targeting machine learning and other AI workloads that now dominate corporate datacenters.

Reports of a pending deal between Nvidia and SoftBank to acquire Arm surfaced in early August.

Nvidia moved last year to fully incorporate Arm CPUs into its processing architectures. The chip IP vendor has since become a more attractive acquisition target after wresting a design win from Intel for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) devices.

Industry observers note the acquisition would likely face antitrust scrutiny.

Nvidia has yet to respond to a request for comment.

 

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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