The folks at NVIDIA have a new toy, with Arm Holdings joining the club for a cool $40 billion. The move is now confirmed, with NVIDIA giving Softbank Holdings $21.5 billion in stock as well as $12 billion in cash.
This move is notable because Apple licenses Arm for its use in its iPhones, iPads, and soon Macs. It isn’t clear yet whether this buyout will impact Apple at all, but initial indications would be that it won’t.
Apple has TSMC manufacture the chips and the designs are all Apple’s. It also essentially has a never-ending license in relation to its dealings with Arm, suggesting none of this will matter one jot.
As for NVIDIA, it’s obviously very happy with its purchase but its CEO Jenson Huang also pointed out that it doesn’t intend to do anything that could impact the business Arm does with Apple and other companies.
Simon Segars and his team at Arm have built an extraordinary company that is contributing to nearly every technology market in the world. Uniting NVIDIA’s AI computing capabilities with the vast ecosystem of Arm’s CPU, we can advance computing from the cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and robotics, to edge IoT, and expand AI computing to every corner of the globe.
As part of NVIDIA, Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success, with 180 billion chips shipped to-date by its licensees. Arm partners will also benefit from both companies’ offerings, including NVIDIA’s numerous innovations.
Apple could have chosen to pick up Arm itself, but instead decided against it. That should tell everyone all they need to know about the impact this will have on its own chip business. If it was concerned, it would have splashed the cash itself.