Nvidia has announced the biggest, most expensive semiconductor deal in history on Sunday, agreeing to purchase British company Arm Holdings from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank for $40 billion. Nvidia will issue $21.5 billion worth of shares to SoftBank.
"AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing", Jensen Huang, NVIDIA's CEO, said in a statement. "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".
A spokesman for Mr. Johnson said ministers had spoken to the relevant companies and were looking at what the deal meant for Arm's Cambridge base. SoftBank may receive an additional $5 billion in cash or stock if ARM's performance meets specified targets and ARM employees will receive an additional $1.5 billion in NVIDIA stock. (SBG)'s share of Arm Limited in a deal valued at $40 billion.
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Arm will be a division under Nvidia, with its headquarters remaining in Cambridge. SoftBank owns three-quarters of Arm, and the Vision Fund, in which SoftBank has a big stake along with the sovereign-wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, owns a quarter.
"Anything that creates more concentration in the industry to the benefit of a USA company, I would think that's not aligned with what China wants, said Art Dicker, director at Shanghai-based R&P China Lawyers".
Just as previously rumoured, NVIDIA is indeed going to acquire ARM. The company will also build an AI supercomputer in Cambridge using Arm CPUs. Nvidia will invest in a state-of-the-art, Arm-powered AI supercomputer, training facilities for developers and a startup incubator, which will attract research talent and create a platform for innovation and industry partnerships in fields such as healthcare, robotics and self-driving cars. The deal likely shakes the landscape of the semiconductor industry and could have an impact on a wide range of industries. Apple might've made some sense on account of all the hullabaloo that is Apple Silicon, and SoftBank did hold preliminary talks with the Cupertino tech giant, but again, with so many of its rivals as Arm licensees, it would've been a hard sell. Regulatory approval may take as long as 18 months before the transaction is completed and the deal needs sign-offs from U.K., China, the European Union and the US, the companies said.In a move to placate Arm's powerful customers and defuse regulatory concerns, Nvidia said the U.K. company will "continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success".
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As part of the deal, SoftBank reversed an earlier plan in which it would have kept ARM's IoT business for itself.
Regulators in the U.S., UK, China, the European Union will need to approve the deal, which will need about 18 months to complete.
It's a deal which the man who founded ARM says is a disaster. Up until now, ARM has agreed to abide by United States trade restrictions with China despite not being a US-owned company.
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One argument Nvidia will presumably use to try to win over antirust authorities is that much of the chip tech you find in data centres is not Arm, but x86, which is owned by Intel.