Nvidia is in advanced talks to acquire chip designer Arm from Softbank, according to reports — a move that would be sure to draw regulatory scrutiny. According to the Financial Times and Bloomberg, the potential deal could value Arm at more than $32 billion, the price at which it was acquired by SoftBank four years ago.
Nvidia’s market value has already surpassed that of Intel, and purchasing Arm could give the GPU maker a much broader footprint in the semiconductor industry. The deal could elicit objections from companies that license Arm’s technology, including Apple, Broadcom or Qualcomm.
While Arm’s technology is already dominant in mobile devices, the company has recently expanded its reach in several other areas as well. The company hit a huge milestone in the infrastructure space last month when Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer became the first ARM-powered supercomputer to be dubbed the fastest computer in the world. And last year, the company finally gained real traction in the data center market with the debut of Amazon Web Service’s Arm-based Graviton2 processor. Additionally, Apple last month announced plans to move the Mac to its own processors based on Arm.
SoftBank is now considering selling Arm to bolster the firm’s cash reserves as part of a $41 billion debt reduction program. Earlier this month, Arm announced plans to shed its two IoT Services Group (ISG) businesses, spinning them off into new entities owned and operated by SoftBank. The move would let Arm focus more on its core semiconductor IP business.
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