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PC Tech Nvidia in "advanced discussions" to acquire ARM from Softbank

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Nvidia Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire Arm Ltd., the chip designer owned by SoftBank Group Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

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The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the only suitor in concrete discussions with SoftBank, according to the people.

 

A deal for Arm could be the largest ever in the semiconductor industry, which has been consolidating in recent years as companies seek to diversify and add scale. Cambridge, England-based Arm’s technology underpins chips in products including Apple Inc. devices and connected appliances. SoftBank acquired the business for $32 billion in 2016.

 

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ARM is such a unique entity in the semiconductor space, it's hard to imagine what this would even mean. Their whole deal is that they don't create chips, they just licence the designs. If ARM is owned by someone who does create chips, does that change how companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung think of their relationship?

 

Samsung's Exynos chips seem to still directly implement ARM's Cortex CPU and Mali GPU designs. So If nVidia put their own graphics tech in, they'd probably end up using it pretty directly. 

 

 

Even in Samsung's phones sold in much of the world, they use Qualcomm processors though. Snapdragons use Qualcomm's own "custom or sem-icustom" Kryo CPU and Adreno GPUs.

 

At this point, I'm not even entirely clear on how much Apple specifically licences from ARM. It seems like nearly everything in their new chips is of their own design. So they might need to pay ARM for some fundamental instruction set IP, but at this point they may have diverged so much that ARM's direction might not impact Apple at all.

 

 

With all that, I can't decide if this would be a sea change in the industry, or if it will actually change very little. nVidia hasn't exactly been king of the hill when it comes to ARM GPUs, so I wouldn't really expect to see ARM chips suddenly get a huge performance boost.

 

If there's anything that I'd expect to see from all this is a more consolidated push to include AI/ML hardware in everything ARM, from small embedded systems to full on supercomputers. We've seen Apple and others implement this to some degree, but it's there that I feel like the ambitions of ARM to be everywhere, and nVidia's desire to leverage AI/ML everywhere collide.

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I hate this. No ARM chip manufacturer should own ARM. ARM doesn't even make a whole ton of profit. I'd be more comfortable with ARM being owned by someone like IBM

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3 hours ago, TwinIon said:

ARM is such a unique entity in the semiconductor space, it's hard to imagine what this would even mean. Their whole deal is that they don't create chips, they just licence the designs. If ARM is owned by someone who does create chips, does that change how companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung think of their relationship?

 

Samsung's Exynos chips seem to still directly implement ARM's Cortex CPU and Mali GPU designs. So If nVidia put their own graphics tech in, they'd probably end up using it pretty directly. 

 

 

Even in Samsung's phones sold in much of the world, they use Qualcomm processors though. Snapdragons use Qualcomm's own "custom or sem-icustom" Kryo CPU and Adreno GPUs.

 

At this point, I'm not even entirely clear on how much Apple specifically licences from ARM. It seems like nearly everything in their new chips is of their own design. So they might need to pay ARM for some fundamental instruction set IP, but at this point they may have diverged so much that ARM's direction might not impact Apple at all.

 

 

With all that, I can't decide if this would be a sea change in the industry, or if it will actually change very little. nVidia hasn't exactly been king of the hill when it comes to ARM GPUs, so I wouldn't really expect to see ARM chips suddenly get a huge performance boost.

 

If there's anything that I'd expect to see from all this is a more consolidated push to include AI/ML hardware in everything ARM, from small embedded systems to full on supercomputers. We've seen Apple and others implement this to some degree, but it's there that I feel like the ambitions of ARM to be everywhere, and nVidia's desire to leverage AI/ML everywhere collide.

Exynos chips are fucking garbage.

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20 hours ago, TwinIon said:

If there's anything that I'd expect to see from all this is a more consolidated push to include AI/ML hardware in everything ARM, from small embedded systems to full on supercomputers. We've seen Apple and others implement this to some degree, but it's there that I feel like the ambitions of ARM to be everywhere, and nVidia's desire to leverage AI/ML everywhere collide.

jack nicholson yes GIF

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