The US chip giant NVIDIA's acquisition of arm, a British chip design subsidiary of Softbank, may be subject to strict scrutiny by regulators in various countries. These countries are wrangling over trade issues, and customers fear that the deal will limit competition and give arm's future parent an unfair advantage.
After announcing the $40 billion deal, Aviva CEO Wong Renxun and Arm CEO Simon
Sanford C.Bernstein analyst Stacy
Arm's chip design and instruction set (chip code for software communication) is a key part of mobile phone, automatic driving vehicle and billions of sensors, and they are becoming more and more important for data center servers and notebook computer.
Arm was so successful because of its constant neutrality. As a
All large chip manufacturers are customers of arm, and many of them sell chips that compete directly with NVIDIA products, including Qualcomm, Intel and AMD. The deal has also raised concerns that arm will give its new parent company early access to its designs or make them better able to work with NVIDIA products.
Apple also relies on arm to help it design A-Series processors that power iPhones and iPads, and Macs will soon adopt this technology. Apple usually tries to diversify its suppliers, but has always avoided working with NVIDIA. For years, Apple has not used NVIDIA's graphics chips in its computers, only AMD's GPU.
Huang said he would become Arm technology
Huang hopes to use arm's tentacles to expand NVIDIA's graphics chip business. The company has failed to make a big push into smartphones, but having arm will give NVIDIA access to other mobile phone giants such as apple, Samsung and Huawei, all of which use licensed ARM technology.
Arm may also help Nvidia bring its chips into more data centers. Cloud computing service providers Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Chinese companies all use Arm -based chips to run widely used online services. They also use Nvidia technology to speed up artificial intelligence processing. However, most servers are still supported by Intel chips.
NVIDIA's acquisition of arm requires approval from China, the UK, the EU and the US. The approval process usually requires government agencies to solicit the opinions of customers and competitors, or to be open to accepting their opinions. Both NVIDIA and arm said they were confident of getting through the difficulties, but it could take as long as 18 months.
Huang cited the recent successful acquisition of mellanox, an Israeli chip company, which was approved in China. He said the process was rigorous but logical, and regulators were generally concerned about whether transactions promoted competition. He pointed out that by investing in arm's server chip efforts, NVIDIA will bring more competition to this Intel LED market.
British Prime Minister Boris