NVIDIA is officially buying ARM with a promise to maintain a neutral and open licensing model
Just a few weeks after unveiling the new GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, NVIDIA has now announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire chip designer ARM. In a letter to NVIDIA employees, the company’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang wrote:
“We are joining arms with Arm to create the leading computing company for the age of AI. AI is the most powerful technology force of our time. Learning from data, AI supercomputers can write software no human can. Amazingly, AI software can perceive its environment, infer the best plan, and act intelligently. This new form of software will expand computing to every corner of the globe. Someday, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet — the internet-of-things — thousands of times bigger than today’s internet-of-people.”
Bloomberg reports that NVIDIA will pay SoftBank Group Corp $40 billion for the UK-based chip designer, including $21.5 billion in stock and $12 billion in case. SoftBank may receive an additional $5 billion in cash or stock if ARM’s performance meets specified targets and ARM employees will receive an additional $1.5 billion in NVIDIA stock.
In an interview with Forbes, Huang said that the company’s first priority after the acquisition would be to “bring Nvidia technology through Arm’s vast network.” But that will not have any effect on ARM’s current licensing model. “Arm’s business model is brilliant. We will maintain its open-licensing model and customer neutrality, serving customers in any industry, across the world, and further expand Arm’s IP licensing portfolio with NVIDIA’s world-leading GPU and AI technology,” Huang added.
The UK-based chip designer will continue to be headquartered in Cambridge, where NVIDIA plans to create a world-class AI laboratory. The upcoming center at Cambridge will include an ARM/NVIDIA-based supercomputer that will make use of state-of-the-art ARM CPUs, NVIDIA’s most advanced GPU technology, and NVIDIA Mellanox DPUs. The AI lab will also offer research fellowships and partnerships to conduct AI research across various domains, provide AI training to students and professionals, and offer a startup accelerator program. Furthermore, the AI lab will serve as an open hub for industry collaboration.