Report: Nvidia on Verge of Arm Acquisition

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The Wall Street Journal reported today that Nvidia is close to purchasing British chip designer Arm Holdings from SoftBank Group for more than $40 billion in a cash-and-stock deal, one that has been rumored for several weeks.

Citing unnamed sources, the Journal story stated that “a deal could be sealed early next week, the people said — assuming it isn’t derailed at the last minute.”

The acquisition, if it happens, would diversify Nvidia’s growing and formidable position in HPC. Its GPU processors help power the second and third most powerful supercomputers, Summit and Sierra, according to the Top500 ranking of the world’s most powerful systems, along with 50 percent of the new systems on the latest Top500 list, according to Nvidia. In addition, earlier this year, Nvidia completed the acquisition of high performance networking gear provider Mellanox for $7 billion.

Coupled with the attainment of Arm processor-powered Fugaku as the world’s no. 1-ranked system, Nvidia’s Arm purchase would be another step in the execution of its ambitious strategy to accelerate computing in any technology sector it touches, including gaming, autonomous vehicles, IT, AI and scientific computing.

The possible Arm acquisition would be in accord with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s statement that “future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers.” And in a public letter published at the time of the company’s Mellanox purchase, he said: “The data center is now a composable computer. The data center computing elements are disaggregated — i.e., CPU servers, GPU servers, and storage servers are separated and scaled independently.” To that list, Huang may soon be able to add “Arm servers.”