Computer graphics pioneer NVIDIA
is acquiring UK-based mobile chip specialist Arm in a deal that's valued at $40 billion (approximately £31 billion). It's buying Arm Ltd
from SoftBank, which acquired the company four years ago. Technology from Arm can be found in most mobile phones, tablet computers and smart televisions.
The resulting business, according to the two companies, will unite NVIDIA’s leadership in artificial intelligence with Arm’s vast computing ecosystem to drive innovation for all customers. NVIDIA plans to continue Arm’s open-licensing model and will expand Arm’s R&D presence by establishing a world-class AI research and education centre in Cambridge.
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. This combination has tremendous benefits for both companies, our customers, and the industry."
NVIDIA will pay SoftBank $21.5 billion in NVIDIA stock and $12 billion in cash. In addition, SoftBank may receive up to $5 billion if Arm hits financial performance targets and NVIDIA will also issue $1.5 billion in equity to Arm employees. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approval and expected to be completed in around 18 months.