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win-win or disaster ARM: nvidia acquisition?

via:博客园     time:2020/8/21 8:01:40     readed:732


Brain polar body

In 2020, all kinds of black swan events will leave an indelible impact on our life in the future. The world of global integration and community of common destiny has become increasingly hostile and estranged because of a small virus's conspiracy. The science and technology industry, originally shared globally and mutually beneficial, has become the first conflict zone in the interest game among countries, becoming sensitive and complex.

In April this year, Softbank listed arm for sale, just like a huge stone into the pool of global technology industry, causing waves of ripples, involving major semiconductor industry giants. Now, after speculating one by one of the buyers like apple, Samsung, TSMC, Qualcomm and NVIDIA that might take over arm, NVIDIA has become the last one to show the bottom card.

NVIDIA, which has just overtaken Intel as the world's largest chip company by market value, announced that it would buy arm, the world's largest chip IP company, from Softbank for 40 billion euros, or about 52.4 billion US dollars.

It is reported that the two sides have entered into substantive exclusive negotiation stage, and the acquisition can be completed as soon as the end of this month. However, it is not known whether the acquisition will be able to pass the antitrust investigation in the countries where the two sides conduct business.

However, if this British semiconductor IP company, which sells itself as a Japanese investment enterprise, commits itself to NVIDIA, an American enterprise, it will lose its neutral status in the global semiconductor industry and may also form a new monopoly.

The ARM co-founder, who spoke astonishingly about Hermann Hauser huge acquisition, said the acquisition would ARM be a disaster.

Hauser so-called disaster may mainly mean ARM. But this

Aviva buys ARM

The purchase of ARM was important for Softbank Corp. at the time, and the sale of ARM was also important for Softbank Corp. now

Softbank Corp. bought ARM company for $32 billion in 2016, making it a costly technology acquisition. Sun is confident that he will buy ARM because he sees the future of the world from ARM, which is to master the future of the Internet of things

If we take a long-term view, sun Zhengyi is determined to acquire arm, and obviously more values the investment return of arm for Softbank in the next ten or twenty years. It turns out that arm's revenue has barely increased in the past three years. Even if it is sold at a price of more than 50 billion US dollars today, and the investment return increased by 60% in three years, it may not be able to achieve the goal of 10 times in 10 years originally envisaged by sun Zhengyi.

However, on the other hand, since Softbank's main business is not in the fields of semiconductors and computer hardware, in the past few years, arm has not been substantially developed in addition to expanding its business lines regardless of the cost. It is estimated that Softbank is also evaluating whether it can drive top chip enterprises like arm.

Now Softbank decides

But analysts also point out that the $20 billion premium in the middle of the Nvidia acquisition ARM is really not worth it, because there are only a few buyers, and now only the Nvidia family is interested, and now the money-hungry Softbank Corp. does not have much room for negotiation. So, if it weren't for Softbank Corp. and their agent Goldman Sachs, it would be super-high

As we all know, NVIDIA's leading position in the field of GPU chips makes it occupy a place in the fields of artificial intelligence chips, autopilot chips, HPC and other fields. Especially in the field of AI chips, NVIDIA lags far behind its competitor Intel.

Arm has long been the leading manufacturer of mobile terminal chip market. As the world's leading upstream semiconductor manufacturer of RISC architecture, arm occupies more than 90% market share of mobile terminal chips through its unique IP licensing mode. Now ARM chip is moving towards PC, server and other fields which originally belong to Intel x86 system. Recently, Apple announced that its self-developed chip with arm architecture on its MAC is a big manifestation of this trend.

Through the acquisition of arm, NVIDIA can obtain direct benefits including:

First, NVIDIA can expand its product portfolio directly. NVIDIA can make use of arm's technology in the field of mobile terminal chip to create higher performance CPU, and form a good technology complementary with NVIDIA's GPU products to create more advanced and flexible chip solutions.

Secondly, NVIDIA has already begun to lay out arm ecology. Last year, NVIDIA began to promote the provision of full stack HPC software to the arm ecosystem and promote the implementation of high-performance servers based on ARM architecture. After the acquisition of arm, NVIDIA has become the actual leader of arm in promoting supercomputers, thus truly competing with Intel.

The most important thing is that NVIDIA's own GPU business is encountering a growth bottleneck. We must rely on the new technology route and expand the business line in order to maintain the trend of high-speed growth, and to firmly take root in the semiconductor industry and consolidate its basic core position.

But risk is associated with benefits. On the one hand, Nvidia has moved many competitors directly this time

Nvidia can't ignore

At the beginning, ARM was acquired by Softbank Corp. from Japan, although also caused some controversy, but not today Nvidia from the hands of Softbank Corp. so controversial. The first is that Softbank Corp. is a global technology investment company with no semiconductor business. In addition, the British government has made a series of constraints on Softbank Corp .'s acquisition, and Softbank Corp. has agreed to keep ARM headquarters in Cambridge and increase ARM staff. The ARM founder Huaser criticized the acquisition as saying

And this time Nvidia won't have any soft silve

At the same time, Nvidia is also a typical American enterprise, in the current increasingly severe international trade and geopolitical competition, Nvidia can not be alone, now there is a trace

Obviously, although many influences are not the original intention of NVIDIA, these two unchangeable status quo will directly lead to a huge trust crisis in arm.

Huaser's biggest worry is that after NVIDIA controls arm, it will affect arm's neutrality, forcing those NVIDIA competitors to consider escaping from arm's ecology and looking for an alternative to arm. Some analysts also said that more and more arm customers may turn to risc-v camp.

People familiar with the semiconductor industry know that risc-v is a set of fully open-source reduced instruction set, which can better meet the differentiated requirements of Internet of things, AI and other applications due to its simplicity, flexibility and modularity. Although it has no such huge market influence as arm instruction set architecture, it is also becoming a key development direction including Chinese semiconductor enterprises, which provides a new choice for developing a new operating system different from x86 and arm.

That is to say, leaving ARM, many companies is not without a choice, RISC-V may be a breakthrough for emerging semiconductor forces like China. Conversely, for the long-term development of ARM, the loss of neutrality and openness may be the main threat that it can grasp the Internet of things era.

The second big problem is that Nvidia

What's more, if NVIDIA starts to set foot in arm's IP authorization mode, can it integrate with its own business well. It is understood that NVIDIA once considered the IP licensing business of the GPU core, but in fact, in addition to applying the early GPU core to Sony for Playstation 3 game console, NVIDIA never really authorized any GPU core to other customers, mainly because it underestimated the difficulty of IP licensing. For this kind of arduous and not very profitable business, whether NVIDIA can continue to manage well after that is indeed a big test.

Of course, these

What if the acquisition is successful in the end?

The changeable situation of semiconductor market

Some experts say that this (acquisition ARM) will be Huang Renxun as the most reckless action since CEO. Nevertheless, in view of the current Nvidia's proactive acquisition intention, no matter how the outside world analyzes, it can not change the CPU GPU dual-core super-chip platform that has been conceived by Master Huang and become the NO.1. of the future semiconductor industry

When NVIDIA describes the future development blueprint, there will be great uncertainty in the whole arm ecology. Significant changes may also occur in the ecology of the semiconductor industry.

Industry speculation, arm's CPU and NVIDIA GPU integration advantages, will make it have a more advanced server chip solutions, directly become the core of X86 Intel and AMD. Then the two long-term fighting enterprises will be likely to unite to fight against NVIDIA's new offensive.

On the other hand, Samsung and AMD are also jointly launching Orion GPU, trying to launch an attack on the GPU market on the mobile end. In the future, it may be possible to see companies such as apple and Qualcomm get involved in the GPU field and grab NVIDIA's market.

Finally, the most important impact is the ARM ecosystem. Due

On the whole, from the huge acquisition of arm by NVIDIA and a series of mergers and acquisitions of semiconductor industry, it has become the development trend of the whole industry to maintain the monopoly advantage of technology and realize the scale expansion of enterprises by means of integration and merger.

This trend is obviously very unfavorable to the emerging semiconductor enterprises and regions. The contraction of the core technology industry makes the country where the technology is located have stronger control power. The reduction of new players also makes semiconductor technology innovation more difficult. The opportunities for these enterprises to realize counter attack from small to large are slim.

The semiconductor industry will grow

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