back to article Nvidia to acquire Arm for $40bn, promises to keep its licensing business alive

Nvidia has announced it will buy UK chip-designer Arm. A Monday statement from Nvidia and Arm’s current owner SoftBank says the transaction will be valued at $40bn. Nvidia is not buying Arm's Internet-of-Things services, we note. Arm will remain headquartered in the UK and its brand and business model will persist. Arm, which …

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  1. osakajin Bronze badge

    AI. Check.

    Internet of things. Check.

    World class. Check.

    BINGO.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Just need some Blockchain in there.

      1. goldcd

        I would also have accepted

        5G

        1. Halfmad Silver badge

          Re: I would also have accepted

          "Innovative"

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Trollface

        What does that do again?

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      It is actually disappointing to see such heavy emphasis on AI in all their press releases.

      I mean... ARM aren't exactly world-renowned AI-first devices. They're a CPU manufacturer.

      I'm really hoping this "AI" junk to die.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        I don’t think they are a CPU manufacturer.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Correct, CPU architecture designer.

      2. RobLang

        Reduced instruction set computing is actually pretty good for AI; in a sense the stream processing you get on a graphics card is a very, very reduced instruction set.

        1. Def Silver badge

          I discovered exactly how reduced that instruction set is the other day when looking at the compiled code for one of my pixel shaders.

          It turns out there isn't even an instruction for subtracting two numbers. Instead the compiler generated a negate instruction followed by an add instruction.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Trollface

        "...heavy emphasis on AI in all their press releases."

        The cynic in me says that's a nod to post-Brexit state aid funding tap for tax breaks and the like, as AI is a big part of the JohnsonCummings plan for a Great British technological renaissance

        1. well meaning but ultimately self defeating

          I reckon he's betting big on graphcore in the way that only somebody with the smallest possible understanding of the dynamics of the semiconductor industry would.

          If he was serious he would be bribing TSMC to set up a Fab in the UK and offering state-aid by the bucketload - just like a couple of small countries do to build broad yet world-class semiconductor ecosystems

      4. well meaning but ultimately self defeating

        The thing you need to bear in mind is that NVIDIA are the leading source of deep-learning/ML-focused compute. With Jensen talking about making some of this IP available via ARM licensing, it opens a can of worms.

    3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      re BINGO

      AI “will expand computing to every corner of the globe. Someday, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet — the internet-of-things — thousands of times bigger than today’s internet-of-people,”

      To be read in the voice of Big Brother from the 1984 Apple ad.

      Please, somebody shoot him .. or me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re BINGO

        Or perhaps alternatively in the voice of Seven of Nine...?

        (If being a Borg drone didn't result in you looking quite so unhealthiy pallid, and you had a bit of autonomy, I rather fear(?) that some people would probably be quite happy to sign up?)

      2. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: re BINGO

        ... Or Skynet.

    4. Adair Silver badge

      I open my mouth.

      Sounds come out.

      I don't know what they mean,

      or if they mean anything at all.

      But the money keeps rolling in.

      1. David Lewis 2

        @Adair, you work for Gartners and I claim my £5.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stock?

    Nvidia's *REVENUE* was only $11 billion last year. ARMs was under $2 billion.

    So 10% of that share ~$1.3 billion, and from that you have to cover $21 billion in future profits?

    Methinks they'll exit their position as fast as they can while the Fed is propping up the stock market before the fed funny money bubble pops.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Stock?

      Simples: just wait for the Automony ruling and then clawback $19Bn via vexatious litigation.

      Oh, and employ HPE's legal team.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Stock?

      It's only $ 12 bn cash, the rest is stock, which given how tech stocks have performed this year, is a bargain for nVidia. SoftBank had to sell because even more of Son's bets have soured recently: this month a whole heap of his options went bad which is why investors took fright.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stock?

        Softbank paid $32 billion for ARM, I think they overpaid. How did they think they were going to add value to ARM beyond all its licensees already?!

        My view is this is a stock play for them, Fed will have to keep pumping dollars in because Corona Virus isn't tackled, so they will have no choice. Softbank will sell off portions as best they can and move the investments elsewhere.

        Perhaps more into big pharma:

        Trump's hired that Fox News "Dr Pundit" to push "Covid herd immunity". He'll spread it so widely it mutates so much that USA will never have an effective vaccine. It'll be like the Flu, you'll be a year behind on the vaccine forever chasing the latest strain. Each year having to pay out for the newest vaccine to reduce your chance of death.

        If you develop vaccines, that turns a one off catastrophe into a ongoing revenue stream with captive customers.

        It's difficult for me to believe that Trump told Bob Woodward the truth on tape, and yet didn't also tell his Fox News 'friends' in his many private meetings with them. Are you seriously telling me he confessed to Bob Woodward, yet continue to push the lie to his buddies at Fox News? I don't believe so. I think he told them the truth too.

        Fox News really engineered this situation. Remember "its only the flu" to delay action, and the "cure is worse than the disease" to end the lockdown too soon? Now you know that Trump must have told the truth about the death rate and infection rate to his Fox News buddies, it makes you wonder why they spent do much effort undermining disease control.

        Fox ran with the lie to their viewers instead of revealing the truth.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Stock?

          Why the fuck are you hijacking the thread to promote your ill-thought out criticism of Trump? The guy's a tool but comments like yours just play into his hands.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stock?

            Softbank are taking nVidia stock at their current silly inflated value.

            The reason stocks are so inflated is because the Fed is printing money like crazy to help prop up the stock market.

            The reason the Fed is printing money like crazy is because of Covid.

            The reason the Fed will continue to print money is because Coronavirus is intentionally being spread because of a Fox New pundit promoting a false "herd immunity narrative"

            The reason Pharma will do well out of it is because, the more it spreads the more it mutates, the less chance you can control it with a vaccine.

            Softbank are a business, at the end of the day, they can probably see that too.

            What part of it do you want me to cover up? Because in that version I omitted the word "Trump" that clearly triggered you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              $40 billion to buy $2 billion in revenue

              "The number of NVIDIA shares to be issued at closing is 44.3 million, determined using the average closing price of NVIDIA common stock for the last 30 trading days. "

              You might as well pay in Linden dollars.

            2. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: Stock?

              " is because Coronavirus is intentionally being spread"

              ...by fucking morons, inept leaders, and people not completely understanding the gravity of the situation and doing dumb things like working from home for the afternoon (having spent the morning in the office).

              There. Fixed that for you.

              Still don't see what it really has to do with Nvidia and ARM though.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                So how low a mortality rate must a virus have before we let it spread naturally? The more we delay the spread, the longer it hangs around, threatening our liberties and economies. Herd immunity ends the pandemic.

                A recent headline says the WHO claim the mortality rate is 0.6. So if 0.6% of the world population dies from Covid, that's less than the % that normally die every year, and this virus has been spreading for over 9 months already.

                Who benefits if we prevent it spreading? Someone who wants to sell us perpetual vaccines and immunity passports.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  THERE. WILL. NEVER. BE. NATURAL. HERD. IMMUNITY. FROM. THIS. VIRUS.

                  It will not and cannot happen. We already know that natural immunity to this virus fades in MONTHS, not years or decades.

                  The ONLY way this virus goes away is with a vaccine, because that's the only way herd immunity will EVER be achieved.

                  Meanwhile, this virus doesn't just kill outright (and direct mortality rate is closer to 2% than 0.5%). This virus is doing damage that will cause lifetime health problems for survivors.

                  Look, if you want to off yourself, go for it. But there are easier ways than spreading this virus.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    NONSENSE. Of course there will be natural herd immunity, 99.4% of people infected have survived thanks to antibodies.

                    Vaccines depend on antibodies to work, so if you think antibodies don’t work, neither will vaccines.

            3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Stock?

              The Fed, along with most central banks, has had excessively loose monetary policy for over ten years now. Yes, it's got even looser this year, but tech companies have been taking advantage of it for years.

              Softbank has been in a hole since a couple of its big bets: Uber and WeWork didn't go as well as planned. nVidia is just one of the many companies taking advantage of Softbank's fire sale and cheap debt. So, it was Softbank's own failings that have forced it to sell ARM.

              It was shown years ago that people who watch Fox News are generally less well informed than people who watch no news. They've had quacks on there for years. But on the other side of the street you've got well-educated middle class dweebs in California up in arms about vaccination in general: spikes in measles infections have nothing to do with the Orange Idiot in Chief. Or, for that matter, the Federal Reserve.

          2. sad_loser
            FAIL

            Re: Stock?

            Why the fuck are you hijacking the thread to promote your ill-thought out criticism of Trump? The guy's a tool but comments like yours just play into his TINY hands.

  3. Spaller

    China ARM and a leg

    Does that China ARM subsidiary come with the deal? Last I heard they had their moat filled and drawbridge up. Do they have the AI to take of that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China ARM and a leg

      They have RISC-V for that.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: China ARM and a leg

      The deal was said to hinge on the China Arm brouhaha. Softbank considered the matter resolved, but I'm not sure it is. It's something we'll check in with over the week -- this broke on Sunday night.

      C.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: China ARM and a leg

        Did you mean Softbank 'says' the matter is resolved.

        I definitely think some due diligence is required before everything is signed, sealed and delivered.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: China ARM and a leg

          "I definitely think some due diligence is required before everything is signed, sealed and delivered."

          But that is obvious. No US company would fail to do basic due diligence when purchasing a UK-based technology company.

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: China ARM and a leg

            But that is obvious. No US company would fail to do basic due diligence when purchasing a UK-based technology company. .... DavCrav

            And if they were so negligent, would it be prosecuted diligently as criminal neglect for which they would be liable to pay market regulators [for they always love a piece of the action]/shareholders/investors punitive compensation, or would they dispute that requirement and try to wriggle free from their responsibility and accountability and flame and blame everyone/someone else for their failure and misfortune and incur further exorbitant pecuniary penalties/costs in the process?

            One would almost think they would thinking to take and make out everyone but themselves are great fools and useless tools ..... which is not a good look to be peddling/pumping and dumping.

          2. Nano nano

            Re: China ARM and a leg

            Unlike the converse, as happened with Ferranti...

  4. Martin an gof Silver badge

    BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

    There's a reasonably good writeup by the BBC this morning, which also includes comment from - shall we say - somewhat less than ecstactic Hermann Hauser and Tudor Brown. Can't say I'd heard of Tudor before this. My bad.

    I didn't like the original Softbank deal, but selling the company to nVidia - which directly competes with some of ARM's customers and is a US firm subject to the whims of the current administration - has the potential to be so much worse.

    M.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

      and is a US firm subject to the whims of the current administration - has the potential to be so much worse.

      On the other hand...

      "and is a UK based firm subject to the whims of the current administration, with it's cavalier approach to international treaty obligations, has the potential to be so much worse."

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

        Yes, well, there is that, though at the moment it is debatable whether they are setting out to destroy international trade, more like they are being utterly incompetent and pig-headed.

        M.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

          I'd say pushing through Brexit qualifies as setting out to destroy international trade.

          The incompetence and pig-headedness just adds to the fun.

          Boris may well do more damage to England than Drumpf does to America.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed...

      How long before ARM is added to the list of technologies that China is not allowed to use?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Indeed...

        There are already some restrictions due to the work done by ARM's office in Austin but seeing as it's a design licence business, you cannot effectively revoke existing design licences.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Indeed...

        "How long before ARM is added to the list of technologies that China is not allowed to use?"

        They don't need to be - without the fabs to produce the cutting edge designs, China are already effectively prevented from using ARM's latest designs as China is limited to using 28nm+ fabs. While there are some very low volume options at 16nm, they are unlikely to provide any significant volume in the immediate future (i.e. 2020/2021)

        While ARM is still a little way ahead of RISC-V in terms of optimisations for older 28nm+ designs, its likely to either slow ARM customers moving to RISC-V or stop them completely until the sanctions are lifted. As two thirds of the revenue in semiconductors is in the <28nm space, this likely benefits ARM long term.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

      I have a feeling that ARM has had its dog days anyway. I would like to see the smart guys in Cambridge break away and come up with something new for the future.

      They seem to have gone down the same pan as CSR and Imagination.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

        As long as it's just the techies who break away, without bringing any of the management with them, that has good potential. Anyone want to invest in Ex-ARM people working on RISC-V, perhaps?

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: the smart guys in Cambridge

        guess who has a design centre in Cambridge?

        Yes folks, the company that everyone (well almost everyone) wants to sue out of business.

        Apple.

        I'd guess that the business of suing Apple might be worth more than the GDP of some countries.

        Don't ya just love lawyers... (not)

    4. devTrail

      BBC coverage is not OK

      BS.

      BBC coverage is focusing on least important issues on purpose. This is a major issue for the anti trust and the British Authority should block the agreement. But, if the BBC article is a signal of the attitude they'll meet in the UK I suspect that the British authorities will will turn a blind eye or will just play a mock role.

    5. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

      Forget the current administration, consider NVidia's current CEO. This is a company that has burned many bridges. There is a reason why Apple stopped using NVidia for their computers, and it had nothing to do with the defective NVidia chips on Apple laptops. The company has a history of being a bully. Of all the companies that considered to buy ARM, NVidia is perhaps the worst. I hope both the British and America regulators put a stop to this.

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