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Thread: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

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    Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    However, another potential purchaser, Apple, is said to have ruled out a bid.
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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    https://www.androidauthority.com/nvidia-arm-1140639/
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...vidia-interest

    Any customer trying to acquire Arm would trigger regulatory scrutiny. Other companies using its technology would likely oppose a deal and demand assurances that a new owner would continue to provide equal access to Arm’s instruction set. Such concerns resulted in a neutral company -- SoftBank -- buying Arm the last time it was for sale.

    I have mixed feelings over this. The problem is Nvidia,doesn't actually have a good history of playing nice with competitors. If anything Apple has a better history if you look at things such as USB,OpenCL,etc.

    It also leads to some other problems. ARM has been significantly more sucessful than X86,due to the way its licensed,and more importantly its ease of licensing. You can see this with X86,which is very limited in who can actually design CPUs around it.

    The other problem is if ARM becomes US owned it is under US regulatory insight and export restrictions,so far more red tape in licensing designs. Long-term I can see countries moving away from ARM then if there is more red tape around licensing them.I can see open source stuff such as RISC V starting to gain more traction. OFC our lot allowed ARM to become foreign owned,just like Imagination Technologies. Softbank is already going to keep some parts of ARM,so another UK based company is slowly being broken up into smaller and smaller pieces as it passed from one owner to another.


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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    On the surface that makes huge sense for Nvidia who have been wanting to profit from the mobile industry for such a long time.

    Surprised at Apple, who generally seem happy to profit from bought up patent portfolios. They could fund an ARM purchase and let the company run stand-alone as it always used to and just siphon off some profits.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    On the surface that makes huge sense for Nvidia who have been wanting to profit from the mobile industry for such a long time.

    Surprised at Apple, who generally seem happy to profit from bought up patent portfolios. They could fund an ARM purchase and let the company run stand-alone as it always used to and just siphon off some profits.
    Both companies are not neutral though,so the issue is whether either should be allowed to have controlling shares in a company,which licenses designs WORLDWIDE. Also,again one of the parts of the ARM licensing model which countries like,was the ease of licensing designs and IP. The problem is any of these companies buying it will lead to much more red tape. You had this problem with X86 - not only did Intel do everything it could to make it as hard as possible for competitors to use X86(to protect its own vested interests),literally any country who wanted to use X86 had to also go through multiple layers of red tape to allow this to happen. Both Apple and Nvidia have vested interests. Softbank didn't.

    So in the end,ARM gained traction since the licensing model was far less restricted by multiple reasons. It is why it might eventually end up breaking the ARM monopoly on mobile designs.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 23-07-2020 at 10:39 AM.


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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    If anything Apple has a better history if you look at things such as USB,OpenCL,etc.
    USB was an Intel creation. Apple's version was Firewire, the technically better alternative that was killed off by expensive licence fees to use it. So Firewire and Metal are probably more representative.


    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Both companies are not neutral though,so the issue is whether either should be allowed to have controlling shares in a company,which licenses designs WORLDWIDE. Also,again one of the parts of the ARM licensing model which countries like,was the ease of licensing designs and IP. The problem is any of these companies buying it will lead to much more red tape. You had this problem with X86 - not only did Intel do everything it could to make it as hard as possible for competitors to use X86(to protect its own vested interests),literally any country who wanted to use X86 had to also go through multiple layers of red tape to allow this to happen. Both Apple and Nvidia have vested interests. Softbank didn't.

    So in the end,ARM gained traction since the licensing model was far less restricted by multiple reasons. It is why it might eventually end up breaking the ARM monopoly on mobile designs.
    I can see upsides and downsides to both. I mainly just hope that Intel aren't bidding.

    Much though I generally dislike Apple, I could see here that Apple have a lot of skin in this game, so could just buy ARM to protect themselves and any profit made a happy bonus. There is nothing to stop them having an ARM subsidiary based in Cambridge operating as a UK company if they wanted to distance themselves but buy control over ARM being used against them.

    Nvidia will likely use ARM as a stick with which to beat Intel, because what Nvidia really want is an x86 licence. As you say, that isn't something that Intel will allow any more and Intel try quite hard to make the historic licence agreements go away. So Nvidia tried to go the ARM route, but Tegra wasn't the biggest of successes with the largest companies in the sector (Samsung and Apple) having their own SoC divisions and not being interested.

    Both Nvidia and Apple have decent ARM design teams.

    Or, Intel could buy ARM and use it as a stick to beat Nvidia. If there were no ARM left at the end of using it as a blunt instrument, then that would be fine by Intel.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Yes, both Apple and Nvidia are about the worst companies at sharing stuff so if either of them ends up as the owner, I'd guess RISC-V is going to get a lot traction out of this!

    Kind of ironic that Apple don't like Nvidia as they're very similar. Guess Nvidia wiggling out of proper support for the bumpgate defects went down very badly with Apple (who despite their often poor warranty support now, were about the only OEM who actually tried to fix their customers bumpgate affected parts and sometimes ended replacing motherboards multiple time - presumably because Nvidia had told them that certain batches were now 'fixed').

    And the whole US ownership thing is another issue. The recent Trump-tantrum pretty much shows why most state actors want their own CPU or at least one not under the whim of the US. HiSilcon rose out of nowhere to pretty much one of the most important ARM vendors. Guess they'll be going RISC-V or MIPS now.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    I'm pretty sure Nvidia knows that this would trigger massive anti-competition investigations which they would not be successful against, and entertaining the idea would be a waste of time and money.

    I'm very surprised that Softbank would approach Apple for it as that would result in similar issues if not worse.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    Guess they'll be going RISC-V or MIPS now.
    I think MIPS is pretty much dead at this point, given RISC-V has a common main architect and is newer and gathering momentum rather than losing it.

    Other attempts like the open Power idea are just too late. Might as well be open VAX for all the new design wins it is likely to get.

    So yes, RISC-V will do nicely whatever happens.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I can see upsides and downsides to both. I mainly just hope that Intel aren't bidding.

    Much though I generally dislike Apple, I could see here that Apple have a lot of skin in this game, so could just buy ARM to protect themselves and any profit made a happy bonus. There is nothing to stop them having an ARM subsidiary based in Cambridge operating as a UK company if they wanted to distance themselves but buy control over ARM being used against them.

    Nvidia will likely use ARM as a stick with which to beat Intel, because what Nvidia really want is an x86 licence. As you say, that isn't something that Intel will allow any more and Intel try quite hard to make the historic licence agreements go away. So Nvidia tried to go the ARM route, but Tegra wasn't the biggest of successes with the largest companies in the sector (Samsung and Apple) having their own SoC divisions and not being interested.

    Both Nvidia and Apple have decent ARM design teams.

    Or, Intel could buy ARM and use it as a stick to beat Nvidia. If there were no ARM left at the end of using it as a blunt instrument, then that would be fine by Intel.
    That is the point Softbank was neutral. Also the issue with X86 was not just Intel,but also the US government also made restrictions on who could own X86 IP,and the level of designs which AMD/Intel could sell to other countries. With ARM,both the UK and Japanese governments are less likely to get involved in forcing their companies to do take certain actions(it happens but is rare). So that relative lack of restrictions has meant dozens of countries have either licensed ARM IP or core designs for use in a myriad of computing products. This is one of the things which made ARM based designs so popular. This is not going to happen if it becomes US owned,as there will be far more restictions in play.Imagine,if they have a spat with say the EU,and then force Nvidia/Apple owned ARM to restrict business....so even that ARM chip in a fridge would get covered by that.


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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    I know this might be controversial but I honestly feel the UK government should buy it back and 'own it', it's not like they'd lose money on it with the current usage of ARM designs. Then speak nicely to TSMC to get a fab in the UK too.

    The UK needs some sort of independent fall back on hardware etc imo.

    I can see the logic in Nvidia going after it, they'd then be able to do cpu and gpu designs etc more easily, same with Apple, but honestly I'd rather have someone more 'neutral' in ownership of ARM.... actually as daft as it sounds, AMD might be a good choice.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by LSG501 View Post
    I know this might be controversial but I honestly feel the UK government should buy it back and 'own it', it's not like they'd lose money on it with the current usage of ARM designs. Then speak nicely to TSMC to get a fab in the UK too.

    The UK needs some sort of independent fall back on hardware etc imo.
    I agree with you.


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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    I don't think any silicon manufacturer who utilises the ARM designs should be allowed to own a controlling share in ARM, something like ARM should be independent from internal influences.

    Even AMD, who don't really utilise ARM very much/if at all, providing a competitor who utilises the design control is just...dangerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSG501 View Post
    I know this might be controversial but I honestly feel the UK government should buy it back and 'own it', it's not like they'd lose money on it with the current usage of ARM designs. Then speak nicely to TSMC to get a fab in the UK too.

    The UK needs some sort of independent fall back on hardware etc imo.
    I also agree.
    Last edited by Tabbykatze; 23-07-2020 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Double comment, please delete
    Last edited by Tabbykatze; 23-07-2020 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    US government also made restrictions on who could own X86
    That is down to performance level, nothing to do with it being x86. The PS3 was originally export controlled in the same manner, big Power chips get the same treatment.

    My understanding is that high end ARM chips would already get the same treatment, given ARM has some US design input. So the US pollution is already there, harm done.

    It is all pointless stupidity, and I fully expect in 5 years time the Chinese will be selling high performance RISC-V designs back to us, with no use for Western CPUs.


    UK Government buying ARM is an interesting thought. It would have been illegal subsidy as part of the EU, but supposedly we are out now so fair game.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Firstly, Arm was split after purchase, so I guess they'll make a decent profit and get the more promising (future potential) IOT for free.

    They've bought up, concentrated on chip development in order to increase Arm chip value, whilst simultaneously under valuing the IOT branch, they intend to keep.

    Whilst I would like Nvidia to have a decent CPU capable division, I'm strongly against them purchasing and owning Arm.

    Just think how bad they'll be, Gameworks will be nothing, I fear they'll even out do Intel with the bribes and "incentives" to control market.

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    Re: Nvidia interested in taking over Arm, says report

    Not to mention price increases, which is the main reason they're looking at the corporation.

    We all know the track record they have for price gauging.

    Now imagine the $10 chips in billions of devices and how much damage they will do the the sector, the world economy along with it.

    Yes, it sounds like tin foil hat nonsense, but look at the decades of damage Intels bribes created, we still haven't fully recovered yet.

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