After showing off some impressive new GPU technology, Nvidia is looking to become an even big player in the chip industry. Don’t worry, Simba chips are safe for now. The company has officially acquired chipmaker Arm from SoftBank, for $40 billion. Nvidia is seen as the market leader on the graphics front (which ARM also designs) but hasn’t really made much of an impact on the traditional processor space outside of its Tegra line of mobile chipsets that are used in devices like the Nintendo Switch. Having Arm on board gives them the ability to broaden their skillset on this front and make them a bigger force to be reckoned with.
The deal will see Arm continue to operate its open-licensing model of chip designs that manufacturers can utilize, and remain headquartered in the UK, acting only as a subsidiary of Nvidia. The company has made it clear that their intention is not to change the ARM business model in any way and wants to keep those existing clients happy.
What could change, according to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang when he spoke with Forbes, is a bigger focus on cloud computing and allowing NVidia to play a bigger role in this department:
Huang said Nvidia is spending a lot of money for the acquisition and has no incentive to do anything that would cause clients to walk away… What will change is the rate of our roadmap. We know for sure that data centres and clouds are clamouring for the Arm microprocessor, the Arm CPU. Energy efficiency directly translates to computing capacity, computing throughput, and the cost of provisioning service.
The acquisition will face regulatory scrutiny before it is finalised, though this shouldn’t be much of an obstacle given that Nvidia hasn’t strayed too far in from the CPU space, nor is it planning to alter the Arm’s business model. Nvidia has grown quite well over the past few years. With Nvidia eyeing more core processing business ventures in the near future, should we be worried if the company ever changes its name to Skynet?
Last Updated: September 15, 2020