SoftBank is looking to recoup cash through the sale of all or a stake in after a tough coronavirus period and British chipmaker Arm is the asset they are parading in the shop window. Arm makes chips found in popular products like iPhones and iPads, and some laptops.
Apple recently announced it was moving to make new Macs with its own chips that would also be built by Arm, so with the company for sale the tech industry is braced for some major change.
Nvidia’s business is in graphics chips and cards and is currently valued at $254 billion. Bloomberg said that “The Santa Clara, California-based company has segued its dominance of graphics chips used by gamers into new areas such as data center AI processing, as well as a foothold in the nascent market for systems that will run self-driving cars.”
It went on to point out that “Those moves have made the company a bigger threat to a broader range of companies, including Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. -- all of which license Arm’s technology.” A sale to Nvidia would dramatically enhance its presence at the forefront of computing despite its current significant importance to the industry.
The report also states that SoftBank approached Apple about the Arm sale, but it is thought that Apple “isn’t planning to pursue a bid … because Arm’s licensing operation would fit poorly with Apple’s hardware and software business model.” There would likely also be regulatory concerns about such a move.