SoftBank has been thought to be exploring sales of ARM – the British chip designer that powers almost every major mobile processor from companies such as Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung and Huawei – and now, it may have found a buyer. Nvidia is reportedly “advanced talks” to buy ARM in a package worth over $ 32 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Nvidia is said to be the only company involved in concrete discussions with SoftBank for the purchase at this time, and the deal could arrive “in the coming weeks,” although nothing is finalized yet. . If the deal goes through, it would be one of the biggest deals ever in the computer chip business and would likely draw intense regulatory scrutiny.
SoftBank bought ARM in 2016 for $ 31 billion, and ARM has grown in value since then as its designs have become increasingly integral to Android and iOS devices alike. Microsoft already makes an ARM-based face and a version of Windows designed for ARM; Apple also announced that it would recently switch its Mac computers to ARM-based chipsets in the final phase for the company. As SoftBank appears to be paying off its growing pile of debt to alleviate investors ’worries, selling ARM at its best could help bolster the finances of the Japanese tech conglomerate.
Nvidia makes an interesting owner for ARM – while the company is the leader for GPUs (which ARM also designs), it has little to do with the design of the CPU or mobile hardware outside its Tegra line of mobile chipsets (most famously used by the Nintendo Switch and the Nvidia Shield set-top line), which are actually based on ARM designs.
ARM ownership gives Nvidia far more power over the wider computing world and is likely to trigger some strong scrutiny from regulators, as Nvidia is an ARM customer, competing with other dependent companies. also on ARM designs.