The acquisition itself has been rumored for a while, but now its formally announced there is a lot to talk about. The bottom line of the deal is that SoftBank, the company that Nvidia purchased Arm from, first bought Arm in 2016 for a value of $31 billion. This acquisition proves that within four years, Arm has increased its real value level by nine billion dollars – not a small thing at all.
Nvidia itself is valued at $300 billion, and the real question is how this new division of technological possibilities is going to affect Nvidia in the long term.
The acquisition will see Arm leave their current owners SoftBank, and continue to operate as normal from their location in Cambridge within the UK. You might be wondering to yourself though, why does this acquisition matter – and why is everyone in tech so interested in one company buying another?
Well, you might have heard of Nvidia through their work on computer graphics. Basically, they are an industry-leading company who produce graphics cards, that allow computer gamers to enjoy the games they love on PC’s at levels that far surpass the power given out through consoles – basically, they are the cutting edge of graphics card tech, and that’s how they got famous – but it doesn’t stop there.
Nvidia has been making some serious steps in the world of artificial intelligence – or AI. You can find examples of Nvidia’s AI within their graphics cards, where the AI is used to build out computer-generated worlds before they are fully rendered – guessing what blanks need to be filled in so that the user gets a totally immersive experience at all times, regardless of how quickly the graphics card actually renders the world.
Their AI is present in other software as well – they have already displayed its aptitude for writing music and performing different tasks in previous showcases – and it’s this AI tech that Nvidia is hoping to expand with the Arm acquisition.
Arm specializes in the manufacturing and sale of CPU chipsets that power and run lots of the most popular mobile devices on the market today. The likes of Apple, Samsung, and even Windows all turning to Arm for the manufacturing of CPUs for use in their different mobile devices (and in the case of Microsoft, the Surface).
In fact, Apple intends to move its future Macs to Arm-based chips, so Nvidia is now closely tied with a brand that has (for the longest time) been linked to AMD – Nvidia’s closet competitors.
Nvidia was quick to lay out their intentions for the Arm acquisition though. Through the Arm ‘ecosystem’, Nvidia is apparently looking to expand and further explore the possibilities of AI in future computing devices. Using the Arms chipset manufacturing process, Nvidia is attempting to bring the future of AI to computers, mobile devices, and even servers across the world.
It’s ambitious, but considering the strides that Nvidia has already made when it comes to AI, there could be a lot to look forward to here in the future of Nvidia’s and Arm’s combined efforts.
For those reading wondering about the future of Arm developing and releasing CPUs for other companies, don’t worry. Nvidia was quick to confirm that the neutrality and objectivity of Arm were not at stake and that the company would only be operating as an extension of Nvidia at its UK location as both companies move forward. Nvidia also announced that they are potentially looking to invest in a brand new AI center in the same location, to further develop the future of AI along with Arm.
Nvidia has outlined exactly where they want to see their AI tech grow as well. They mentioned areas you might expect, like smartphones and PCs being key areas of their new AI, but also the likes of self-driving cars, the expansion of 5G, and even IoT – which basically affects everything.
So, all very exciting stuff. We could see AI being developed at a quicker rate from Nvidia now – or even see the likes of an Nvidia CPU in development in the future – something not that common at all, as outside of the Nvidia Tegra X1 (which powers the Nintendo Switch), we haven’t seen a mainstream popular chip from Nvidia at all yet.
For further news on this acquisition as it develops, keep checking PC Guide – we will report as it comes in. Otherwise, if you have any questions about what this acquisition could mean for the future of computing, just leave a comment below, and we will do our best to answer.