SoftBank, the company that owns British chip designer ARM, has reportedly been in discussions with several companies about selling off its chip manufacturing business and it appears they may have a buyer on their hands in the form of Nvidia. Bloomberg is reporting that the two companies are in “advanced talks” for an acquisition deal worth over $32 billion.
ARM, who powers nearly every major mobile processor from companies like Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, was bought by SoftBank in 2016 for around $31 billion and it appears the company wants to cash in on their investment by selling it. $32 billion might not appear like much as a result, but you think about it, $1 billion profit for four years’ worth of ownership is nothing to be sneezed at.
Reportedly though Nvidia are the only interested parties at the moment, so if the deal doesn’t go through the company could land up holding onto it for longer. With both Microsoft and Apple also moving their hardware devices over to ARM-based chipsets, the company’s value and revenue is only set to grow.
What is perhaps more of a question mark is not so much whether Nvidia is necessarily interested, but whether anti-trust regulators may actually allow for that acquisition. While Nvidia does not really play much in the CPU space, it does dominate the GPU market (with ARM based designs too) and being a big player in both spaces could easily raise concerns in this department.
Whoever ends up owning ARM, let’s hope the company doesn’t lose its innovative spirit and keep putting out designs that power our computing world forward.
Last Updated: August 4, 2020