Nvidia acquires Arm from SoftBank for $40 billion

Nvidia confirmed that it is acquiring processor architecture firm Arm from Softbank for $40 billion. The deal confirms weeks of speculation as well as a report yesterday by the Wall Street Journal.

Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia said the deal consolidates its expertise in artificial intelligence with Arm’s vast computing ecosystem. Cambridge, England-based Arm has more than 6,000 employees, while Nvidia has more than 13,000.

SoftBank took Arm private in 2016 for $32 billion. At the time, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he was preparing for the Singularity, the predicted day when AI collectively becomes more intelligent than human beings. But SoftBank has run into a cash crunch after losing billions of dollars due to the pandemic and bad bets on Uber and WeWork.

Nvidia said it will expand Arm’s presence in the UK by establishing a world-class AI research and education center there, and it will build an Arm/Nvidia-powered AI supercomputer for research. Nvidia also said that it would continue the open-licensing policy of Arm with its customers, who ship more than 20 billion chips a year for everything from smartphones to tablet computers and internet of things sensors.

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