NVIDIA to acquire British chip designer Arm from SoftBank for $40bn

US computing company NVIDIA has agreed to acquire Arm Limited, a British semiconductor and software design company, from Japan-based SoftBank Group and the SoftBank Vision Fund (together SoftBank) for $40 billion in a cash-cum-stock deal.

The acquisition will result in the combination of the AI computing platform of NVIDIA and Arm’s vast ecosystem for creating a premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence, thereby speeding up innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets.

SoftBank will stay committed to the long-term success of the semiconductor company through its stake in NVIDIA, which is likely to be less than 10%.

Jensen Huang – founder and CEO of NVIDIA said: “AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing. In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today’s internet-of-people.

“Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI.

“Simon Segars and his team at Arm have built an extraordinary company that is contributing to nearly every technology market in the world. Uniting NVIDIA’s AI computing capabilities with the vast ecosystem of Arm’s CPU, we can advance computing from the cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and robotics, to edge IoT, and expand AI computing to every corner of the globe.”

NVIDIA to acquire British chip designer Arm from SoftBank for $40bn

NVIDIA to acquire British chip designer Arm from SoftBank for $40bn. Photo courtesy of NVIDIA Corporation.

Upon the closing of the deal, NVIDIA plans to retain the name and brand identity of Arm and grow its base in Cambridge. The intellectual property of Arm will remain registered in the UK.

NVIDIA said that it will consolidate on the R&D footprint of the chip designer in the UK by setting up a new global center of excellence in AI research at the latter’s Cambridge campus.

The US computing company will invest in Arm-powered AI supercomputer, training facilities for developers, and a startup incubator for drawing world-class research talent and for providing a platform for innovation and industry partnerships in fields like healthcare, robotics, and self-driving cars.

As per the deal terms, NVIDIA will pay $21.5 billion to SoftBank in the form of its common stock and $12 billion in cash.

Simon Segars – CEO of Arm said: “Arm and NVIDIA share a vision and passion that ubiquitous, energy-efficient computing will help address the world’s most pressing issues from climate change to healthcare, from agriculture to education.

“Delivering on this vision requires new approaches to hardware and software and a long-term commitment to research and development. By bringing together the technical strengths of our two companies we can accelerate our progress and create new solutions that will enable a global ecosystem of innovators.”

The proposed deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals across the UK, China, the European Union, and the US, along with the meeting of other customary closing conditions, is likely to be closed in nearly 18 months.

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