Sunday, September 13th 2020

NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion, Creating World's Premier Computing Company for the Age of AI

NVIDIA and SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) today announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SBG and the SoftBank Vision Fund (together, "SoftBank") in a transaction valued at $40 billion. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to NVIDIA's non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP earnings per share.

The combination brings together NVIDIA's leading AI computing platform with Arm's vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence, accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets. SoftBank will remain committed to Arm's long-term success through its ownership stake in NVIDIA, expected to be under 10 percent.
"AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today's internet-of-people. Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI.

"Simon Segars and his team at Arm have built an extraordinary company that is contributing to nearly every technology market in the world. Uniting NVIDIA's AI computing capabilities with the vast ecosystem of Arm's CPU, we can advance computing from the cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and robotics, to edge IoT, and expand AI computing to every corner of the globe.

"This combination has tremendous benefits for both companies, our customers, and the industry. For Arm's ecosystem, the combination will turbocharge Arm's R&D capacity and expand its IP portfolio with NVIDIA's world-leading GPU and AI technology.

"Arm will remain headquartered in Cambridge. We will expand on this great site and build a world-class AI research facility, supporting developments in healthcare, life sciences, robotics, self-driving cars and other fields. And, to attract researchers and scientists from the U.K. and around the world to conduct groundbreaking work, NVIDIA will build a state-of-the-art AI supercomputer, powered by Arm CPUs. Arm Cambridge will be a world-class technology center."

"NVIDIA is the perfect partner for Arm," said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SBG. "Since acquiring Arm, we have honored our commitments and invested heavily in people, technology and R&D, thereby expanding the business into new areas with high growth potential. Joining forces with a world leader in technology innovation creates new and exciting opportunities for Arm. This is a compelling combination that projects Arm, Cambridge and the U.K. to the forefront of some of the most exciting technological innovations of our time and is why SoftBank is excited to invest in Arm's long-term success as a major shareholder in NVIDIA. We look forward to supporting the continued success of the combined business."

"Arm and NVIDIA share a vision and passion that ubiquitous, energy-efficient computing will help address the world's most pressing issues from climate change to healthcare, from agriculture to education," said Simon Segars, CEO of Arm. "Delivering on this vision requires new approaches to hardware and software and a long-term commitment to research and development. By bringing together the technical strengths of our two companies we can accelerate our progress and create new solutions that will enable a global ecosystem of innovators. My management team and I are excited to be joining NVIDIA so we can write this next chapter together."

Commitment to Arm and the UK
As part of NVIDIA, Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success, with 180 billion chips shipped to-date by its licensees. Arm partners will also benefit from both companies' offerings, including NVIDIA's numerous innovations.

SoftBank and Arm are fully committed to satisfying the undertakings made by SoftBank when it acquired Arm in 2016, which are scheduled to complete in September 2021. Following the closing of the transaction, NVIDIA intends to retain the name and strong brand identity of Arm and expand its base in Cambridge. Arm's intellectual property will remain registered in the U.K.

NVIDIA will build on Arm's R&D presence in the U.K., establishing a new global center of excellence in AI research at Arm's Cambridge campus. NVIDIA will invest in a state-of-the-art, Arm-powered AI supercomputer, training facilities for developers and a startup incubator, which will attract world-class research talent and create a platform for innovation and industry partnerships in fields such as healthcare, robotics and self-driving cars.

Additional Transaction Details
Under the terms of the transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of NVIDIA, SBG and Arm, NVIDIA will pay to SoftBank a total of $21.5 billion in NVIDIA common stock and $12 billion in cash, which includes $2 billion payable at signing. 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. Additionally, SoftBank may receive up to $5 billion in cash or common stock under an earn-out construct, subject to satisfaction of specific financial performance targets by Arm.

NVIDIA will also issue $1.5 billion in equity to Arm employees.

NVIDIA intends to finance the cash portion of the transaction with balance sheet cash. The transaction does not include Arm's IoT Services Group.

The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals for the U.K., China, the European Union and the United States. Completion of the transaction is expected to take place in approximately 18 months.

Conference Call and Webcast Details
NVIDIA will conduct a webcast at 5:30 a.m. PT on Monday, September 14, to discuss the transaction. The webcast is available on NVIDIA's Investor Relations website at https://investor.nvidia.com/home/default.aspx/home/default.aspx. A webcast replay and a copy of the webcast presentation materials will also be available at https://investor.nvidia.com/home/default.aspx/home/default.aspx.
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113 Comments on NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion, Creating World's Premier Computing Company for the Age of AI

#51
ZoneDymo
I find it odd not more of you are very alarmed by this, this worries me quite a bit tbh.
We are just creating another monolith, this I doubt will be good for competition.
Posted on Reply
#52
john_
It's in AMD's and Intel's best interest Nvidia to screw up the ARM platform, but I believe Nvidia learned it's lesson with PhysX. If you lock it, you strangle it and it dies.
Posted on Reply
#53
ironcerealbox
Hopper and future architectures [past Hopper] have been hinted by Nvidia to use ARM cores side-by-side with MCM GPU dies from as far back as 4 (maybe 5) years ago...
Posted on Reply
#54
rvalencia
dicktracy
X86 days are nearing its end. Good riddance.
NVIDIA's ARM CPUs hardly changed PC desktop.
Posted on Reply
#55
MrMeth
lynx29
I expect to have a family and a career in next couple of years. My gaming time is going to basically vanish, so I imagine this rtx 3080 and zen 3 build will be my last. I probably will never get to experience ARM cpu's
Dude just cause your going to have a job , kids & wife in the future doesn't mean you can't have hobbies !! Being an adult doesn't mean u can't have fun !! U just need to balance your adulting 70%-30% fun , I have a Lan party once year in my basement with the same group of guys from when we were 20. ( 2019 edition ended at 9am and 1.4 tb of games were downloaded ) We are all 40 now and have GFS , wives & kids we still upgrade , frag and drink mountain dew and eat cheap pizza just left often.
Posted on Reply
#56
tigger
I'm the only one
Arm's value went up 8billion in only 4 years, nice. from such a small acorn has grown a massive and valued company. I'm glad Nvidia are keeping the main office in Cambridge where it all started. I wonder if the 6000ish employees get a bonus from this.

I have no problem with Nvidia acquiring Arm, imo it can only be a good thing for both Arm and Nvidia. be interesting to see what new stuff they can come up with between them.

In case you didn't know, Apple was one of the original members of the joint venture which formed Arm in 1990
Posted on Reply
#57
bug
lynx29
It's important to note that AMD Ryzen latest gen CPU's have 0 security issues to my knowledge, ARM, Intel, were both plagued by Meltdown and other security issues. So if I were a business, small or big, I would still be banking on AMD CPU's personally.
Yeah, exactly zero: download.vusec.net/papers/blindside_ccs20.pdf

More OT, I think the victim of this may be ARM's Mali. I wouldn't mind seeing it gone, I believe its drivers were never too appreciated.
Posted on Reply
#58
kiriakost
Internet of things this is another form of surveillance.
We do not need automation this destroying further more our jobs.
We do not care for toys assisting further more the automated assembly lines.

Imagine a forum loaded with 10 AI bots answering all of your questions with nonsense or basic information that Google has stolen over the years.
If we humans are unable to ague when we communicating the 90% of the fun will be lost. :roll:
Posted on Reply
#59
GreiverBlade
TheLostSwede
I'm expecting Adreno to be gone first and foremost, as why would Nvidia want to use an AMD derived graphics IP in their products?
Except that ARM GPUs are MALI and not Adreno which are Qualcomm... o_O

Nvidia will have nothing to say about Adreno.


edit: oops ... well i skipped a page ... and others also did point out that :oops: :D
Posted on Reply
#60
Shatun_Bear
Vya Domus
It would have been the same thing, both companies would have had a vested interest in hindering everyone else through this acquisition. Probably even more so Apple, who could have practically ended every other competitor in the snap of a finger by shutting down all licenses to them.
What kind of poor understanding of business and lack of general common sense is this? I'm sorry but, what? You think in some hypothetical that Apple could just swan over, buy ARM, then simply shut down all licences to their competitors??! Not only could they not do that, why in the world would they want to?
seronx
Time to escape from ARM, and flee to RISC-V!
Yes, if those with ARM licenses are threatened by Nvidia's buyout, they will start migrating on mass to RISC-V, which was already growing rapidly. Anyway, this deal could take 18 months and has a high chance of falling through.
Posted on Reply
#61
Vya Domus
Shatun_Bear
You think in some hypothetical that Apple could just swan over, buy ARM, then simply shut down all licences to their competitors??!
They probably wouldn't be allowed to buy them out for the exact reason that I described.
Shatun_Bear
why in the world would they want to?
Oh, I don't know, maybe because every other competing manufacturer like Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, etc that exists who makes mobile SoCs uses ARM ?
Posted on Reply
#62
renz496
R0H1T
No it's quite possible, Nvidia may force Geforce on other licensees.
realistically nvidia does not need to force people to use their geforce. just like many SoC maker end up defaulting their GPU of choice to Mali they might end up using defaulting their GPU to nvidia solution.
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#63
blazed
They've highlight several advantages, but is it possible that this acquisition could be bad for competition? I thought I heard previously that the CEO, or someone otherwise higher up at ARM, mentioning that there could be a conflict of interest here, and that it could be a concern.
Posted on Reply
#64
bug
blazed
They've highlight several advantages, but is it possible that this acquisition could be bad for competition? I thought I heard previously that the CEO, or someone otherwise higher up at ARM, mentioning that there could be a conflict of interest here, and that it could be a concern.
Unlikely. ARM wasn't building chips, so the move doesn't reduce the number of players in the market.
As long as Nvidia doesn't mess with licensing (why would they, that's ARM's bread and butter), they should be fine.
Posted on Reply
#65
renz496
stimpy88
This will be very bad for the industry. There are some very good reasons why nVidia is known to be hard to work with.

I don't understand why Apple did not buy ARM, as Apple and nVidia do not get on, and nVidia will not make things easy for Apple going forward. I wonder if Apple have some kind of protection from whatever happens to ARM?
apple already said their own reason for not wanting to get ARM for themselves mostly due to the tech itself is one of the key tech for their competitor. i know some people did not like nvidia to get ARM but between nvidia and apple it is better for ARM to go into nvidia hands. plus Softbank already tried looking around looking for buyer. Samsung says no. TSMC says no. Foxconn says no. and i think there is still others but all of them says no. only nvidia really have interest to buy ARM no matter how expensive it is. so here we are today.
thevoiceofreason
If AMD didn't purchase ATi back then they would be gone today. Their custom SoC business (PS4, Xbox One) is what kept the company afloat in the Bulldozer days.
well this thing has been debated a lot. for example this can also happen: if AMD did not starve for cash after ATI buyout bulldozer might end up having much better design. back then i heard AMD rely a lot on automated design to save cost.
Posted on Reply
#66
Shatun_Bear
Vya Domus
They probably wouldn't be allowed to buy them out for the exact reason that I described.



Oh, I don't know, maybe because every other competing manufacturer like Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, etc that exists who makes mobile SoCs uses ARM ?
ARM makes billions from those you mentioned, that's their business. If Nvidia acquire them (and it is not a foregone conclusion and will take a long time), they won't want to cut off that revenue even if they could, as it obviously then becomes their business. And those companies have legal documents assuring them supply for many years in any case, it's not possible to break these agreements.
Posted on Reply
#67
TheLostSwede
renz496
Why would adreno be gone? Adreno is owned by Qualcomm not ARM.
Sorry, you're correct, I had a brain fart :oops:
Mali would be gone though.
GreiverBlade
Except that ARM GPUs are MALI and not Adreno which are Qualcomm... o_O

Nvidia will have nothing to say about Adreno.


edit: oops ... well i skipped a page ... and others also did point out that :oops: :D
Yes, as above, brain fart.
Posted on Reply
#68
Assimilator
ITT: people saying RISC-V is the future now that Arm is "dead". That's about as likely as Arm CPUs becoming competitive with x86 (sorry, Geekbench of Apple A13 beating Intel CPUs doesn't mean shit).
Shatun_Bear
What kind of poor understanding of business and lack of general common sense is this? I'm sorry but, what? You think in some hypothetical that Apple could just swan over, buy ARM, then simply shut down all licences to their competitors??! Not only could they not do that
Rich coming from someone accusing others of not understanding how business works.
Shatun_Bear
why in the world would they want to?
Because Apple hates competition.
Posted on Reply
#69
Vya Domus
Shatun_Bear
ARM makes billions from those you mentioned, that's their business. If Nvidia acquire them (and it is not a foregone conclusion and will take a long time), they won't want to cut off that revenue even if they could, as it obviously then becomes their business.
You were responding about what I said Apple would be inclined to do, not Nvidia.
Shatun_Bear
And those companies have legal documents assuring them supply for many years in any case, it's not possible to break these agreements.
No such thing exists, ARM doesn't manufacture anything, there is no supply to speak of. ARM mostly sells licenses to manufactures so that they can build certain designs, when those contracts stop even if you can continue building them forever you are stuck with those old technologies. It's not hard to see why all of these companies would fall behind as soon as that would happen.

Not to mention that without at least the license to use the ARM ISA all of the existing infrastructure becomes off limits to you as your hardware becomes incompatible with all existing software.
Posted on Reply
#70
lynx29
BorisDG
p.p. You have nice imaginary PC build btw.
it's about half done, just waiting on a few more parts, then it won't be imaginary anymore :D
Posted on Reply
#71
iO
They'll design an arm core specifically for HPC use, to compete with AMD and Intel.
Next thing is using their sh!tload of money to port as much x86 software as they can to arm and by owning Mellanox they can offer complete servers with CPU, GPU, interconnect, networking and software stack as fully fledged packages...

Regarding Mali, they will gut all the good parts the uarch has to offer, integrate it into their own and then offer Geforce cores as the default GPU IP for arm designs.
Posted on Reply
#72
Hakeem619
Just waiting for Nvidia to introduce Skynet and sell us Terminators designed for gaming

:D
Posted on Reply
#73
tfdsaf
lexluthermiester
While they are using their own designs, the base instruction set is still ARM based and Apple is required to license it. NVidia might increase the pricing for Apple or deny them a license outright. Apple is not in a favorable position ATM.
Apple doesn't own any hardware capabilities, so it might become really hard for them to do things, especially since they've burned so many bridges with Intel and AMD and they are only left with arm. If Nvidia increases licensee fees it could spell trouble for Apple.

Between ARM, Intel and AMD the trio control over 90% of CPU patents, with IBM probably controlling another 5% and 5% from various other sources.
Posted on Reply
#74
Zareek
Ngreedia owning ARM is not good for anyone but Ngreedia, hopefully government regulators find a legal way to axe this deal.
Posted on Reply
#75
SIGSEGV
It's time RISC-V to shine.
Posted on Reply
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