NVIDIA is already making big plans on its investments within the Arm ecosystem, most of which hinges on its acquisition of the UK-based company currently owned by Japan’s SoftBank. We haven’t heard much about the status of that process recently, but the newest news that has just surfaced isn’t that encouraging, a minimum of for NVIDIA. The acquisition has already been uncertain because the UK cares, and insiders are now saying that the country is inclined to reject the bid over national security concerns.
It has been a year since NVIDIA and SoftBank revealed the graphics tech giant’s intentions to takeover Arm, formerly Arm Holdings. The semiconductor and software design company is best known for creating the planning and technologies used for CPUs and GPUs that are then licensed by Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung, Rockchip, and an entire host of other chipmakers. As such, Arm is in the middle of the most mobile and embedded technologies.
As a corporation, however, its history may suggest a touch of instability. After being acquired in 2016, the SoftBank Group started finding buyers to fuel its buybacks and newer investments. There are several interested parties, but NVIDIA rose to be the foremost prominent and, unfortunately, the foremost controversial.
The UK naturally has vested interests in who becomes Arm’s new owner, especially because the government tries to consolidate and protect its technological “treasures” like Arm. Bloomberg now reports that there’s a growing concern over the national security implications of Arm’s acquisition by US-based NVIDIA, but it’s still unclear why that might be so. Instead, questions of neutrality and anti-competitiveness might be more relevant, considering NVIDIA may be a direct competitor to several Arm’s licensees.
Things could still enter NVIDIA‘s favor, though, but other stakeholders within the Arm ecosystem also are willing to dig in if the deal goes south. SoftBank’s pis aller would be to file for an IPO of Arm, though that’s deemed less profitable than an outright sale.