back to article Think Korean chipmakers will buy Arm? Think again

Remember when Korean chipmakers Samsung and SK hynix were floated as potential buyers of UK chip designer Arm? Well, it seems that we can now count them out, which means Arm's owner, SoftBank Group, will likely have to move forward with its planned initial public offering. After stating a potential interest in forming a …

  1. Dasreg

    Oh boy now they know why Qualcomm spent money to make their own chips

  2. emfiliane

    > Qualcomm is the other semiconductor company that had previously expressed an interest in buying a stake in Arm, but at this juncture, that seems unlikely given that the two are now embroiled in a bitter legal feud over the terms of Arm's architectural licenses.

    Buying out a company to end a lawsuit is an age-old business practice. All of the tech giants have done it at least once.

  3. steelpillow Silver badge

    Cash cow?

    A cynic might suggest that SoftBank have seen the RISC V writing on the wall for ARM and are turning it into a cash cow while they still can.

  4. potato_chips

    Nothing to see here

    "The current Arm IPO plan has gone through its own trouble"

    If deciding where to list qualifies as trouble then every IPO ever done has been in trouble FFS.

  5. jbrickley

    Qualcomm bought a startup founded by former Apple Silicon chip designers

    Qualcomm bought a startup founded by former Apple Silicon mobile chip designers. They attempted to use the startups licensing from Arm instead of renegotiating the licensee terms. Qualcomm has its own Arm licensing but it varies from the type of license held by the startup that Qualcomm now owns. Arm Holdings has stated they need a new license as the startup license no longer applies. There are two types of Arm licenses. One you license the designs for your SoC from Arm. This is how Qualcomm makes the Snapdragon SoC processors. The startup had a sweet deal on the other type of Arm license. The type that Apple uses where you license the architecture instruction set but are free to change it however you wish. Effectively granting you the rights to create an entirely custom arm64 clone processor of your own design. The startup had that license at a deep discount for a variety of reasons. Since Qualcomm bought out the startup, Arm Holdings wants to renegotiate the terms of the license and it seems there is a clause in the license contract that covers acquisitions. The license is invalid if company A is bought by company B. Qualcomm doesn't want to pay the exorbitant fees that Arm Holdings wants to charge. Qualcomm wants to compete with Apple and they cannot do that if they have to use the Arm designs. They just don't want to pay so much to do so. Apple is a former Arm member. They sold their stake in Arm years ago to help save Apple while also taking a $300M loan from Microsoft. However, they have a grandfathered license and relationship with Arm that goes all the way back to Acorn and the Newton. So no doubt, Apple has a discount yet still pays considerable sums to Arm Holding. It's all about money.

  6. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

    They should ask Elon

    he still has money to spare to buy ARM...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like