News Report: Nvidia Approached Arm About Acquisition

bit_user

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they have the $ to make it progress.
Really? Details, please.

I'm curious how they would even fund this acquisition. Stock swap, I guess? I thought they blew most of their cash on the Mellanox acquisition. That was only like $7B, and I presume most of that cash was left over from the mining boom.

According to Wikipedia, ARM was valued at £23.4 B, when Softbank acquired them in 2016. Presumably, they're worth significantly more, now.

Nvidia's market cap seems more than big enough, but the ironic thing about that is it would just put a bunch more NVDA stock in Softbank's hands, not long after it unloaded what it previously held.
 
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No chance! When Apple announced Macs with ARM this for sure means they are interesting in buying ARM. Cause ARM is owned by a bank and bank complains about income shortage this means we will have a sell. If Apply buys ARM this means death to everyone cause we will start paying fees and good bye to cheaper Androids.
What a nice knife in the Qualcomm back! They are going to pay 10 times back to Apple.
 

bit_user

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If Apply buys ARM this means death to everyone cause we will start paying fees and good bye to cheaper Androids.
What a nice knife in the Qualcomm back! They are going to pay 10 times back to Apple.
That's an interesting and disturbing idea.

...or, if Qualcomm bought ARM, it could mean bad news for Apple & others.

Anyway, as long as it's bought by a US company, it's likely that monopoly laws would prevent pricing so high that it would destroy the competitive landscape. Still, it's hard to see how the landscape wouldn't at least be unsettled.
 
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Chung Leong

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No chance! When Apple announced Macs with ARM this for sure means they are interesting in buying ARM.
Why the heck would Apple acquire ARM? It doesn't want to become a tech licensor. The last time it did that the company nearly went belly up.
 

gg83

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I think Nvidia is scrambling to maintain its position long term. I listen to Corteks on YouTube and he said dedicated GPU's will be replaced by apu's and such. What do you guys think? Nvidia would love to own cpu IP right?
 

bit_user

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Why the heck would Apple acquire ARM? It doesn't want to become a tech licensor. The last time it did that the company nearly went belly up.
That was with its OS, and Apple had other issues besides. It was only a couple years prior to Jobs' return, though I don't know whether they stopped licensing clones before or after. It was detrimental, mainly because Apple couldn't make the same amount of money selling their OS as they'd been making by bundling it with their overpriced hardware. I don't think the same situation would necessarily apply, here.

Anyway, it could hold ARM as a wholly-owned subsidiary, leaving it to do business as usual (except for giving Apple favorable licensing terms). What would be weird about that model would be to have two parts of the business independently designing ARM cores.

Another option would be to merge ARM with its own internal core design group. In that model, maybe they'd keep licensing cores, but not necessarily. Perhaps they'd just license the ISA and software tools & support, but leave it to 3rd parties to do their own designs. There'd have to be a multi-year phase-out of their current business model, in order to avoid breaking existing commitments.

In between the two extremes, ARM could continue designing and licensing microcontrollers and server cores, while keeping the mobile and desktop-oriented cores internal to Apple.
 
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bit_user

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I think Nvidia is scrambling to maintain its position long term. I listen to Corteks on YouTube and he said dedicated GPU's will be replaced by apu's and such. What do you guys think? Nvidia would love to own cpu IP right?
First, Nvidia has been designing its own ARM cores for its embedded chips for like 6-7 years, now. These are SoCs they tried to put in phones & tablets, before having more success with things like Nintendo Switch, robots, and now self-driving cars.

Second, there's no way APUs are going to take over from mainstream dGPUs. The two are still miles apart, in performance, and it's going to be that way for the foreseeable future. Consoles are a special case, since they can be designed around having a single monster chip that dissipates the kind of heat that GPUs normally generate, and don't need to have removable RAM. Both are impediments for APUs producing the level of performance that would threaten dGPUs.

Here's the latest APU benchmarks, just to put things in context:

 

Chung Leong

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Anyway, it could hold ARM as a wholly-owned subsidiary, leaving it to do business as usual (except for giving Apple favorable licensing terms). What would be weird about that model would be to have two parts of the business independently designing ARM cores.
Corporate structure wouldn't shield the company from anti-trust authorities. A scenario where Apple keeps certain technologies exclusive to its own processors simply would not be tolerated. From a legal standpoint, how do we determine what competitive advantage is "fair"? It's impossible to draw a line. And if you give EU regulators any reason to mend out multi-billion fines, they will.
 

Chung Leong

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I think Nvidia is scrambling to maintain its position long term. I listen to Corteks on YouTube and he said dedicated GPU's will be replaced by apu's and such. What do you guys think? Nvidia would love to own cpu IP right?
Such a deal would be more about control rather than existing IP. Right now, Intel has an edge over Nvidia in heterogeneous computing because it has full control over the evolution of the x86 platform. Acquiring ARM would remedy that. It'd also help Nvidia sell its interconnect tech.
 
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gg83

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First, Nvidia has been designing its own ARM cores for its embedded chips for like 6-7 years, now. These are SoCs they tried to put in phones & tablets, before having more success with things like Nintendo Switch, robots, and now self-driving cars.

Second, there's no way APUs are going to take over from mainstream dGPUs. The two are still miles apart, in performance, and it's going to be that way for the foreseeable future. Consoles are a special case, since they can be designed around having a single monster chip that dissipates the kind of heat that GPUs normally generate, and don't need to have removable RAM. Both are impediments for APUs producing the level of performance that would threaten dGPUs.

Here's the latest APU benchmarks, just to put things in context:

Yeah the latest apu is on par with a GeForce 1030 or something lame.
 

artk2219

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I think it would be a terrible thing for arm. Nvidia has a history of buying companies, taking their ip, and jacking up prices for said IP, or making it something only they can use (hello Physx). Honestly I think in the end they would mismanage the hell out of arms ip because sharing and working nicely with others is just not something Nvidia does. Its the Nvidia way or the highway, its why they haven't been on the best terms with Apple for years, they're very similar in their mindsets as companies. Incidentally Apple would also be a terrible company for arm to come under the ownership of. Honestly there are very few companies that I can see them folding under that wouldn't cock up all of their core licensing agreements either because its the way that company is, or because of industry competition and non competes.
 

artk2219

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Yeah the latest apu is on par with a GeForce 1030 or something lame.
Not so, they're faster than the RX 550 now hah, but yeah theyre not quite at GTX 1050 level :-/. That being said, even the GT 1030 can play quite a few games, even new games, just not always at the highest details, or 1080p. But if you just want something to slap in and start gaming, the GT 1030 GDDR5 version can do quite well.
 

nofanneeded

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I think it would be a terrible thing for arm. Nvidia has a history of buying companies, taking their ip, and jacking up prices for said IP, or making it something only they can use (hello Physx). Honestly I think in the end they would mismanage the hell out of arms ip because sharing and working nicely with others is just not something Nvidia does. Its the Nvidia way or the highway, its why they haven't been on the best terms with Apple for years, they're very similar in their mindsets as companies. Incidentally Apple would also be a terrible company for arm to come under the ownership of. Honestly there are very few companies that I can see them folding under that wouldn't cock up all of their core licensing agreements either because its the way that company is, or because of industry competition and non competes.
I think ARM should not be bought by any US company... we need an alternative in case Politics gets in the way of Technology .. and Sadly in recent years USA is acting selfish in this matter...

I dont want USA to control the Prices and technology and Patents of every CPU in the market. this is not healthy and USA is a Bully.
 
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Chung Leong

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I think ARM should not be bought by any US company... we need an alternative in case Politics gets in the way of Technology .. and Sadly in recent years USA is acting selfish in this matter...
I don't know where people get the idea that non-US companies can ignore directives from the US government.
 

Shadowclash10

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Not so, they're faster than the RX 550 now hah, but yeah theyre not quite at GTX 1050 level :-/. That being said, even the GT 1030 can play quite a few games, even new games, just not always at the highest details, or 1080p. But if you just want something to slap in and start gaming, the GT 1030 GDDR5 version can do quite well.
Right, its just that APUs are not going ever going to be modern dGPUs until/unless the way chip architecture works changes.
 

hotaru251

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Presumably, they're worth significantly more, now.
they only make around 300M ~a year from it. its goign to take YEARS to make profit off it.

there best bet is selling it to Nvidia to cut their loss as ARM is alreayd likely on its downfall due to stuff like RISC- V .

Nvidia obtaining it is its best shot to actually take off again.
They are a leader in GPU's so they have brand to draw investors and the staff to improve on it (most likely)
 

bit_user

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Such a deal would be more about control rather than existing IP.
I don't think you can simplify it that much. Nvidia has responsibilities to its investors that extend beyond just long-term strategic concerns. ARM has valuable IP that they're monetizing every day, and that business model is not something Nvidia could afford to ignore, in how the value and handle the acquisition.

Right now, Intel has an edge over Nvidia in heterogeneous computing because it has full control over the evolution of the x86 platform. Acquiring ARM would remedy that.
The days of x86 are numbered, and everyone knows that. In fact, the rise of ARM and RISC V make Nvidia much less vulnerable to the whims of Intel, than ever before.

It'd also help Nvidia sell its interconnect tech.
Except you don't spend $50 B (or somewhere in that ballpark) on a business just to boost the revenues of a business you just bought for $7 B. Businesses are priced roughly according to their earnings, so there's no way they'd earn a good return if that were the main reason they bought ARM.

That said, would Nvidia like to hold all the pieces of its embedded and server solutions under one roof? Certainly. However, ARM has a very different business model than Nvidia and that's not something they can shut down in any kind of short timeframe.
 
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bit_user

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Honestly there are very few companies that I can see them folding under that wouldn't cock up all of their core licensing agreements either because its the way that company is, or because of industry competition and non competes.
Hmmm... what about Alphabet? Google hasn't done a perfect job with Android and Chrome, but it's closer than just about anything anyone else is doing.

Also, Microsoft probably wouldn't do to badly by ARM. Like Google, it knows how to manage a platform and support software developers and hardware partners.
 
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bit_user

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I think ARM should not be bought by any US company... we need an alternative in case Politics gets in the way of Technology .. and Sadly in recent years USA is acting selfish in this matter...
I wonder if any Swiss finance giants would touch it.

I dont want USA to control the Prices and technology and Patents of every CPU in the market. this is not healthy and USA is a Bully.
Yeah, Trump is taking things in the wrong direction, on this front. Technology thrives best in open markets, which he doesn't seem to understand. Or maybe he just doesn't care. People say he's very transactional, so he probably doesn't think about anything beyond the next trade deal.

My hope is that the US loses a big court case around some of his efforts to use the IP of US-based companies as leverage in his trade war. Only then will any trust be restored that foreign companies can deal with US businesses and not have things get seized up in some trade spat.
 
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