The rumors (opens in new tab) are true: Nvidia has announced it will acquire UK chip designer ARM Limited for a worth of $40 billion. The acquisition is still awaiting regulatory approval, but it will see the Cambridge-based business transfer to Nvidia from SoftBank Group, who purchased ARM for $32 billion in 2016.
ARM specialises in chips for smartphones, tablets, and handheld games consoles, among other products. Its processors power everything from Apple phones through to the Nintendo Switch, and as Paul wrote back in July (opens in new tab), the acquisition will bolster Nvidia's sudden share price dominance (opens in new tab) over Intel. Bolster is to put it lightly: the expansion could be dramatic for a company best known for its work on high-end (read: more niche) chips.
According to Nvidia's announcement, ARM's Cambridge headquarters will expand with a new AI-focused R&D center. Indeed, the acquisition appears to be strongly motivated by AI development. In a prepared statement, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said "in the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things 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."
The proposed AI research facility will apparently support "developments in healthcare, life sciences, robotics, self-driving cars and other fields." First-person shooters too, please?
The transaction will be completed in "approximately 18 months," according to Nvidia (opens in new tab).