It was reported earlier this month that SoftBank, the parent company of British silicon chip designer ARM, had reportedly approached Nvidia, TSMC, Foxconn, Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung to buy ARM.
Apple and Samsung are walking away from the agreement according to recent news. Nvidia leads the way among the three potential customers, i.e., Nvidia, TSMC, and Foxconn. An exclusive article from the UK’s Evening Standard indicates Nvidia and SoftBank are actually in the final stages of negotiations. A new agreement could emerge before the end of summer.
Since the intellectual property of ARM, including the company’s Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), is used for their smartphones by almost all of the tech giants like Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, etc., it only makes sense for Nvidia to purchase its operations. ARM actually claims 90 percent of the market in silicon.
Reports revealed that Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, is demanding a price as high as $52 billion for ARM, which translates into a premium of around $20 billion relative to the $32 billion that SoftBank paid to acquire ARM in 2016.
When the merger goes through and Nvidia succeeds in taking over ARM that will be the chip industry’s biggest takeover. Experts do agree, however, that the deal would have a fair share of challenges and complications. Nvidia could face several regulatory problems that would prove to be a stumbling block.
UK administration will not be happy with the deal because ARM has agreed to keep its UK headquarters and the deal involves moving ARM headquarters out of the area.