Nvidia plans to acquire Cambridge-based Arm in a $40bn deal

14 Sep 2020

Image: © Sundry Photography/Stock.adobe.com

When the acquisition of Arm is complete, Nvidia plans to invest in the English company’s R&D efforts in Cambridge, promising the construction of a new supercomputer.

On Monday (14 September), multinational technology business Nvidia announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire British semiconductor and software design company Arm.

The deal, worth $40bn, will see Nvidia acquire Arm from SoftBank Group and the SoftBank Vision Fund.

In a statement, Nvidia said that the transaction combines the company’s AI computing platform with Arm’s ecosystem to create a stronger company for the age of AI, accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets.

“SoftBank will remain committed to Arm’s long-term success, through its ownership stake in Nvidia, which is expected to be under 10pc,” the statement said.

Masayoshi Son, chair and CEO of SoftBank Group, commented: “Nvidia is the perfect partner for Arm. Since acquiring Arm, we have honoured our commitments and invested heavily in people, technology and R&D, thereby expanding the business into new areas with high growth potential.”

Son said that the combination of the two companies could project Arm, Cambridge and the UK to the forefront of “some of the most exciting technological innovations of our time.”

The acquisition

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 (IoT) 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.”

Huang said that Simon Segars and his team at Arm have built an “extraordinary company” that is contributing to almost every technology market in the world.

By combining the two companies, Huang hopes to advance computing from the cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and robotics, while expanding AI computing to every corner of the globe.

The Nvidia CEO said that the acquisition will benefit both companies, their customers and the industry. The deal will enable Arm to “turbocharge” its research and development (R&D) capacity and expand its intellectual property portfolio with Nvidia’s GPU and AI technology, Huang said.

Arm will remain headquartered in Cambridge. When the acquisition is complete, Nvidia plans to expand on Arm’s existing site to build a world-class AI research facility, supporting developments in healthcare, life sciences, robotics, self-driving cars and other fields.

“To attract researchers and scientists from the UK and around the world to conduct groundbreaking work, Nvidia will build a state-of-the-art AI supercomputer, powered by Arm CPUs,” Huang said. “Arm Cambridge will be a world-class technology centre.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic