Nvidia acquires ARM for $40 billion

Despite move to ARM processors in Macs, not much will change for Apple, while Nvidia could benefit enormously from the takeover


After weeks of speculation and negotiations, Nvidia announced on Sunday 13 September 2020 that it would take over chip designer ARM Holdings for $40 billion from its previous owner Softbank. That would make the biggest deal in the chip industry to date.

Nvidia will pay twelve billion US dollars in cash, with two billion US dollars already due as soon as the contract is signed. Nvidia will spend $21.5 billion on stock purchases, and ARM employees will receive Nvidia shares worth $1.5 billion.

By acquiring ARM Nvidia is hoping to be well prepared for the age of AI and the Internet of Things. As founder and CEO Jensen Huang explains: "AI is the most powerful technological force of our time and has triggered a new wave of computing. In the coming years Billions of computers with AI will create a new Internet of Things that is a thousand times bigger than today's Internet of People. Our combination will create a company that is fabulously positioned for the age of AI. "

ARM will keep its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, which will be expanded into a "world-class research location for AI". The goal is an AI supercomputer based on ARM technology

For Softbank the original investment in the business has paid off financially: four years ago the holding company paid $32 billion for ARM.

Nvidia gets access to hundreds of patents that could advance its own solutions.

The boards of directors of Softbank, Nvdia and ARM have already approved the takeover, but regulatory approval is still pending in the US, China, UK and the EU.

What's this mean for Apple?

This shouldn't have any impact on Apple, despite the companies move to Arm architecture for the design of its Mac chips. Apple already uses the Arm architecture to design its other processors (for iPhone, iPad and so on). Apple does not need ARM to be an independent unit in order to license the chips.

Apple had apparently has shown interest in Nvidia, however, even if with the adoption of ARM designs for the processor inside new Macs, the corporate structure of ARM would not be a good fit for Apple.

Read more about Apple's move to Arm here. 

This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by Karen Haslam.