Nvidia said Sunday it is acquiring chipmaker Arm from SoftBank for $40 billion. Arm will operate as an division of Nvidia and will remain headquartered in the UK, and, will “continue to operate its open-licensing model, while maintaining its global customer neutrality,” the company said. But the deal is still likely to face intense regulatory scrutiny.
SoftBank bought Arm in 2016 for $31 billion. The British company’s intellectual property helps power mobile device processors for companies including Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Arm has likely only increased in value since the SoftBank acquisition, with Microsoft making an Arm-based Surface and a version of Windows for Arm, and Apple planning to switch future Macs to Arm-based chips.
Nvidia is the leading maker of GPUs, which Arm also designs, but other than its Tegra line of mobile chipsets used in devices like the Nintendo Switch, Nvidia doesn’t do much in the way of CPU design or mobile hardware.
Speaking to Forbes, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said that his first priority after the acquisition would be to “bring Nvidia technology through Arm’s vast network.” However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Arm will change its current licensing model. Bloomberg reports that “Huang said Nvidia is spending a lot of money for the acquisition and has no incentive to do anything that would cause clients to walk away.”