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 …

  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.

      1. Missing Semicolon
        Devil

        Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

        NVidia? Let's be thankful it wasn't Qualcomm......

    6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Just a matter of time

      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. ..... Martin an gof

      Especially so if ever it be discovered a RAT trap ..... and Profitable Pirateable Proprietary Intellectual Property Magnet ....... for Private Magnate Centres of Stealthy Excellence. ..... Future Ideas Factories.

      All ursecrets now belong to us ?????

      Although of course they really don't, for the original secrets holders will only tolerate for a limited period of time such as they would consider as sub-prime second and third party use and/or abuse and misuse.

    7. Nano nano

      Re: BBC coverage is surprisingly ok

      Tudor was my uni lab partner, for a term.

      Quiet, astute, unassuming.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Ellipsis
    Terminator

    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,” Huang said.

    He seems to be saying that as though it’s a good thing…

  7. macjules Silver badge

    Nvidia and Linux?

    Well that puts paid to ARM processors for Linux or just about any other open source OS.

    Less “Switzerland” more “Belarus”.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

      That's a radical statement. Care to elucidate?

      They say that the licensing model will persist, and beside that, chip makers already have licenses, several of which are architecture licenses which allow them to extend the architecture, and are for perpetuity.

      This means that Arm devices are here to stay, and in case you didn't notice, already have Linux ported to them.

      As an example, look at Raspian running on a Pi-4. I could quite happily use that as a desktop system.

      What may change is the cost of non-perpetual licenses. Some companies may find the cost of their license renewals increasing or becoming unavailable, but too much of the latter will kill the business.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

        But... the Raspberry PI CPU chip is made by Broadcom who aren'y excatly best buddies with Nvidia.

        I wonder if the Nvidia legal people have found a way (deep down in the small print) to revoke those perpetual licences? That really would stir things up.

        1. devTrail

          Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

          I wonder if the Nvidia legal people have found a way (deep down in the small print) to revoke those perpetual licences? That really would stir things up.

          Not so difficult to guess.

          They'll slow down the evolution and let the design slowly fade into obsolescence

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

        I think he's probably referring to the infamous nVidia blob drivers for Linux. Though I agree that this is a separate issue.

      3. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

        Don't take my word for it; Linus' rant at Nvidia over the "open source" graphics card driver

        https://youtu.be/MShbP3OpASA?t=2919

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

          Yes, I know that Nvidia have in the past been a bit of a problem with regard to their graphics processors, but that particular clip is from 2012. But some things have changed, and at least for some of their older GPU architectures they are providing some documentation, and do have half decent binary drivers now (their offerings used to be crap, and well ot of date).

          But ARM is a completely different market. They have a high mark up on their GPUs, and need to protect their revenue stream. They cannot take the same model and apply it to ARM designs.

          Firstly, they do not currently control the manufacture of the devices, and they only have the initial use license fee and a very small per-core license fee.

          Secondly, there are already licensees who have the rights in perpetuity to take their existing designs and re-implement and modify them. This means that even if they decide to take future core designs private, that will not stop existing designs evolving. If they do this, they run the risk of fracturing the market, and as they need high volumes to be able to continue to get revenue on the low per-core license few.

          Third, if they decide to limit or increase the cost of new licenses and license renewals, this will give the chip companies a reason to invest in other architectures like RISC-V and even MIPS (companies like themselves!)

          Remember, the only thing that really makes ARM processors stand out is their low component count and power, licensing terms and ubiquity. The architecture has always been relatively simple, even with some of the newer designs. There is no reason at all to suppose that given the right impetus, other simple designs could not be produced. ARM have a head start, but there are a lot of people out there who could devote a lot of resources to try to catch up using already existing or new work. It's just that at the moment it's not worth it.

          Nvidia will not want to take the technology private. It's not worth $40bn in cash and stock just to have another private design. The value is in volume and market penetration.

      4. handleoclast

        Re: Nvidia and Linux? @macjules

        I'll let Linus Torvalds explain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYWzMvlj2RQ

    2. Scene it all

      Re: Nvidia and Linux?

      It seems to me that the Nvidia Jetson NX AI product uses ARM support processors around the GPU and they run Linux.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Nvidia and Linux?

      "Well that puts paid to ARM processors for Linux or just about any other open source OS."

      What a stupid statement.

      Bearing in mind the vast majority of ARM chips are running *nix or BSD of some flavour, it's as dumb as saying Intel will stop supporting Windows.

  8. Torben Mogensen

    Independence

    The main reason ARM was spun off from Acorn Computers to become an independent company was that Apple (who wanted to use ARM in their Newton hand-held) did not want to be dependent on a competitor (however tiny). Having NVIDIA control ARM can lead to similar sentiments from ARM licensees that compete with NVIDIA.

    I would prefer ARM to be neutral with no single instance (company or person) owning more than 20% of the company.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Independence

      That ship is gone forever since Softbank bought them. Just imagine if Qualcomm, AMD, Intel, Google or Apple had bought them this time?

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Independence

        On the other hand, don't forget that one of the very first licences went to Intel (via DEC), who came up with the StrongARM processor (later XScale?) which was a huge step up in performance from the 600 and 700 series chips Acorn were then shipping in RiscPCs, and (I believe) also introduced the 32-bit addressing mode. My StongARM-containing RiscPC is still running...

        Arguably it was the deal with DEC that started the whole licencing model that has done so well for ARM over the years.

        But still, back then they were a very minor player in the grand scheme of things and hardly a threat to anyone. Nowadays the opposite is true and I'm not at all certain that nVidia has the best long-term interests of ARM at heart.

        M.

    2. MOV r0,r0

      Re: Independence

      I recently learnt that Malcolm Bird had an earlier business plan to spin ARM out before Apple got interested so the eventual timing of it was down to Newton but the main reason was Acorn not consuming enough ARM processors to recoup investment costs (and it was Robin Saxby's later plan they went with).

      If in a year Arm still have their own brand and control their own finance, HR and legal I'll keep calling them British and a Cambridge company and Simon Segars can keep calling himself CEO!

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Pinky Promise.

    How many times have it been said "we will keep the status quo" only for things to go south a while later on?

    Let us see how long it takes before things derail completely...

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Doing a Kraft on Cadbury.

    2. Oh Matron! Silver badge

      I'm thinking Cadbury....

    3. Vometia Munro

      Well yeah. It got off to a bad start when, less than a week after Theresa May assured us no more core technologies would be sold to foreign interests, ARM's sale to Softbank was approved. Which I think has pretty much sealed ARM's fate.

      Just Cadbury's all over again, as others have mentioned.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see perpetual lawsuits

    resulting from this.

    Once again, the only winners are the scumbags who call themselves lawyers.

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I see perpetual lawsuits

      Please don't insult scumbags by comparing them to lawyers !!!

  11. simpfeld

    Shameful

    Should never have been sold in the first place. Not sure many countries would let a technological leader escape like this.

    Worse was the Tories trumpeting this as faith in Britain after Brexit....apparently giving away all your key industries is us taking back control!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Shameful

      Would you prefer random interventions in company ownership by Trump?

      In case you hadn't noticed the British government didn't own ARM. So to stop it being sold at a huge mark-up was basically depriving its owners of their property. Had the government invested money in it and kept a "golden share", it would be a different thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shameful

        "In case you hadn't noticed the British government didn't own ARM. So to stop it being sold at a huge mark-up was basically depriving its owners of their property."

        The British government has in the past barred the sale of companies to overseas entities under the auspices of "national security" (they were mainly defence companies)

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Shameful

          So what would the national security excuse be for ARM?

          There are also roundabouts to the swings (thinking about it which one of those is supposed to be the bad one?)

          Our economy does very well for foreign investment. Because we've maintained an open economy that doesn't arbitrarily stop people from either buying into companies or selling out to get their money back when they want to. Obviously if you block sales, then people are going to be less willing to risk their money in the first place - as they risk not being able to get it back when they need it.

          We could obviously change this, but it wouldn't be without costs.

          1. oiseau Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Shameful

            Our economy does very well for foreign investment.

            Quite so ...

            It is no secret to anyone that the UK (specifically London) is a global cesspool of dirty money where bankers offer financial services for worldwide money laundering and tax evasion while regulators look the other way as shell companies shell companies make billions.

            Yes, the UK economy does well.

            O.

          2. MOV r0,r0

            Re: Shameful

            Our economy does very well for foreign investment

            I agree and so did Acorn - ARM as formed: 40% Acorn (themselves 60% Italian owned at the time), 40% Apple (US), 10% VLSI (US) and 10% various parties which even if we assume were all British that still only adds up to one UK money. Arm were global from the start.

      2. simpfeld

        Re: Shameful

        "Would you prefer random interventions in company ownership by Trump?"

        No I'd prefer a STRATEGIC intervention!

        Just cause Trump randomly does things doesn't mean this sort of intervention is all bad.

        Maybe some conditions should have been imposed.

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Shameful

      Indeed ...

      Shameful.

      “Arm’s business model is brilliant. We will maintain its open-licensing model and customer neutrality, serving customers in any industry, across the world, and further expand Arm’s IP licensing portfolio with Nvidia’s world-leading GPU and AI technology.”

      Save for Arm's model undoubtedly being brillant, I don't believe a word of this.

      O.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: More than shameful without the brilliant business model for it then be rapacious and predatory?

        “Arm’s business model is brilliant. We will maintain its open-licensing model and customer neutrality, serving customers in any industry, across the world, and further expand Arm’s IP licensing portfolio with Nvidia’s world-leading GPU and AI technology.”

        Save for Arm's model undoubtedly being brillant, I don't believe a word of this. ..... oiseau

        The only money shot questions worth asking there, oiseau, is who/what is personified by the pronoun "We" and are they all powerful and/or omniscient, for surely only then can their word be capable and enabled of being believed.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Shameful

      Worse was the Tories trumpeting this as faith in Britain after Brexit....apparently giving away all your key industries is us taking back control!.... simpfeld

      It does have one wondering on what sort of offers leading Cabinet officers are tempted with from other governments/allied business interest for them to be instrumental or wilfully deaf, dumb and blind to all such as would be right dodgy shenanigans resulting in a loss of home control.

      Offers that they daren't refuse are a firm favourite with all sorts of gangster types.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shameful

      If the Government is incompetent as you say, why do you want them to decide the future of Arm?

      Maybe your “highly competent government” could build their own companies, rather than your plan of stealing other people’s?

  12. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    Softbank wasn't a good match as an owner?

    It's a pity ARM was ever sold to anyone, but better that Nvidia has them than the Japanese Beancounters Softbank, who are clueless at tech and hardly more than speculators.

    Though I can see why some ARM users would be unhappy. Still, better than the sell off of Inmos was.

    But relistically, as ARM is going to be owned by someone, it's better a real tech company than a so called Fund Manager.

    Unfortunately Philips is long gone as Electronics (Only lights and health care, semiconductors was spun off as NXP and sadly getting bought by Qualcomm who are almost just Patent Trolls). Who else other than Nvidia actually makes sense?

    Texas Instruments, AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, Apple, Google, Samsung, LG would all be worse.

    1. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge

      Re: Softbank wasn't a good match as an owner?

      I am probably very naive but I have never understood this mania for buying each other in the technology industry.

      The first time I was directly involved was when Oracle bought Sun and then ran it into the ground (just as we all expected). Why couldn't Sun just continue as they were. Why didn't ARM stay as an independent company?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Softbank wasn't a good match as an owner?

        >Why couldn't Sun just continue as they were.

        Sun was pretty much dead once we could run free on Linux on cheap x64

        A lot of Sun users ran Oracle. Oracle were afraid that a lot of IBM HW salesmen visiting ex-Sun customers might have a DB2 salesman in tow

        >Why didn't ARM stay as an independent company?

        Because an idiot with more money thane sense (judging from his other investments) offered the shareholders more than the current market price for it.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Softbank wasn't a good match as an owner?

      I disagree. Only Apple would be worse. They are the only company who is as ruthless and malicious as NVidia.

    3. Vometia Munro

      Re: Softbank wasn't a good match as an owner?

      I'm really sad about Philips. It was my first proper job when I started out 30 years ago and I was just seeing the tail end of its "golden age" when it was a really innovative company and a nice employer too. But this was now the '90s, the age of VARs and "I expect everyone to be a salesman" as our new CEO announced. The demise of Philips Telecommunications and Data Systems (or Business Systems, or Information Systems, or whatever-it-was-called-this-week by that point) was very rapid but it seems that the new approach to big fat profits i.e. flogging anything that made money and rationalising expenses by firing staff at random was just the way of things from now on.

  13. DenonDJ DN-2500F

    From what I've heard, its a pretty awful place to work. I don't think there will be a shortage of people willing to leave.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Eh?

      Where is an awful place to work? If you mean Arm then that is total bollocks, I can tell you that from experience. If you mean nVidia then I have it from 'someone familiar with the matter' that it is also an excellent place to be employed.

    2. Chris Evans

      Are you talking of ARM I'm unclear

      I've not heard of ARM employees being upset about their workplace. Though AIUI they weren't overjoyed with Softbank buying them. Or am I getting the wrong end of the stick?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you talking of ARM I'm unclear

        Its amazing how reports of 1.5 billion of nVidia stock being punted towards employees as part of the deal will bring people round - at least until the shares vest ... unless everyone switches into VIP ("vest in peace" (*)) mode and merely hangs around doing the minimal effort until pay day arrives.

  14. fronty

    A shame

    I think it's a shame that it's fallen into US hands, it's only a matter of time before they shut down the UK operation and ship the whole lot off to the US somewhere.

    Like someone else said, hopefully the nerds will leave and start up something new.

    1. First Light Bronze badge

      Re: A shame

      May not go to the US, could go anywhere these days.

  15. First Light Bronze badge

    Pass Go and Collect $2 bn

    Getting the ink dry on the deal before Election Day 2020 makes sense as corporate strategy. A Biden victory would mean a long cool look by various agencies at mergers of all kinds as budding monopolies. Prior to the first Obama term there were a flurry of mergers in several industries. Of course it could still go south, but carpe diem, etc.

  16. Doogie Howser MD

    "Someday, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet"

    Meaning even more bilious shite on Twitter.

  17. devTrail

    AntiTrust

    Such a deal should be clearly unacceptable for any anti-trust authority in the world. How come they came up with such a deal? Not only the sector is very restricted to few companies, but ARM licences their technologies to almost all NVidia competitors in the smartphone segment. Considering smartphones, tablets and other gadgets Nvidia is buying the possibility to hold by the balls the competition in a market where more than one billion chips are sold every year. Of course they now promise they'll keep licensing their technology to al the others, but nobody prevents them from transferring the most advanced research to the mother company and let ARM slowly fate into obsolescence

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: AntiTrust

      >How come they came up with such a deal?

      Does it raise the SP500 before the election? Since ARM and Softbank aren't listed then selling it to a listed company will inevitably increase NVidia's price in the short term.

      This government's only priority is that everyone's retirement account statement looks good by November

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AI? Aiaiaiai!

    It is that it's Nvidea, otherwise I would have called BS. I guess those are still the magic words to get the finance boys interested. Either that or cryptocurrency, and then I prefer they focus on AI.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: AI? Aiaiaiai!

      Ironically Nvidia are currently on the naughty step for telling the finance boys that they WEREN'T selling much for cryptocurrency

  19. UBF

    Could TheReg take initiative?

    I think The Register is the only place able and (I hope) willing to coordinate a plea to the powers that be in order to somehow intervene to protect this cutting edge and most precious British intellectual property. Perhaps an open letter, signed by Nobel laureates, academics and top financial and business figures, sharing the ARM co-founder's view that "the way you build companies like Apple is by starting with companies the size of Arm, not with a startup.” (see today's Guardian). Also, he said “They [Nvidia] can make more than $40bn by destroying it.” Can the UK afford losing its largest tech company to a US company that might well in the near future be forced to restrict its exports to the very country that generated its IP?

    It's another tragedy for the history (soon to become paleontology) of UK's technological decline after WWII. And I say this having the experience (and honour) of setting up the first computerised Physics undergraduate Laboratory in 1986 in my country using Acorn BBC and Econet technology, and having vivid memories of the era of the design of the first Acorn Risc CPU (it was designed & simulated using plain BBC Model B and ran flawlessly the first time it was etched on silicon!). Still dreaming of acquiring an Archimedes...

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Could TheReg take initiative?

      Seconded, UBF.

      That's the power of the proposal squared as opposed to doubled.

      Very soon, only a few more have that energy generated at an exponential level. :-) Such introduces the notion of a supernatural development in a Grand Remote Virtual Experiment with Untouchables.

    2. UBF

      Re: Could TheReg take initiative?

      It seems the man himself already had the same plan I imagined - he has already set up a website and written an open letter to sign and provide support: https://savearm.co.uk

  20. All names Taken
    Facepalm

    Tst - Its all politiks silly!

    Trump is oh so readable.

    First of all accuse a big powerful country somewhere in the world of doing stuff that el Presidente knows the US is doing and wants to continue doing.

    On the downside: is the UK now officially a vassal state of the US or is it trying to pretend it never was?

  21. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Slippery Slopes and Greasy Poles ahead. Take Care.

    Take the money and run seems like a good plan if there be no signed and binding Non Compete agreement from/for ARM star performing employees who might want to set up another billion pound green field outfit.* ...... a Dominic Cummings wet dream of an enterprise apparently, if one can believe what has recently been reported in media about his wishful thinking.

    After all, it is the drivering innovative creative brains in any business that hold all the value and if they are to be shackled, it will obviously raise hackles and create divisions and foment discontent and revolution if thought to be third party and foreign state actor commanded and controlled in any specific exclusive direction disadvantaging the many in preference to rewarding the few.

    * Some may even advise, never look a gift horse in the mouth, so sign on that imaginary dotted line for the money and then do as one wishes, for Non Compete agreements are a blatant fundamental assault on one's human rights and therefore unenforceable in law ?

    It is not as if Blighty hasn't set that acceptable precedent, is it, Mr Prime Minister?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIP Arm

    From an ex-Arm engineer. Softbank was a bad owner, Nvidia's looking evern worse. Watch all the big customers run away as fast as they can...

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