The proposed $40 billion Nvidia acquisition of the UK based Arm received a shot in the arm (pun intended) over the weekend when three major Arm customers went public with support for the deal.
Officials from Broadcom, Marvell, and MediaTek all went on record in a UK newspaper with quotes supporting the deal. These three companies are the first major Arm licensees to officially support the deal.
It is interesting to note that all Arm licensees are not supporting the deal. Recently, Qualcomm’s incoming CEO, Cristiano Amon, said the company would be willing to invest in an Arm IPO alongside other Arm customers if Arm’s current owner, Softbank decided to list the company on the stock market instead of selling it to Nvidia.
The challenge for Nvidia has been to convince companies it actually or potentially competes with, as well as regulators around the world, that it would keep Arm’s open licensing business model and not artificially limit access to Arm technology.
Broadcom’s CEO Hock Tan was quoted as saying Nvidia has assured the industry that it will increase the overall investment in Arm’s technology.
“It will continue to make that technology available to the industry on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis. Nvidia’s assurances that a post-acquisition Arm will be a better supplier for Broadcom’s business,” said Hock Tan.
At the same time, the statement by Taiwan-based MediaTek highlighted the advantages of the combination of Nvidia’s intellectual property (IP) and Arm’s IP.
“The semiconductor industry will benefit from the combination of Nvidia and Arm. The combined open platform will enhance and accelerate delivery of critical computing technologies, including CPU, GPU and AI. We believe that the merger will enable MediaTek and other industry participants to bring more competitive and comprehensive products to the marketplace,” states MediaTek official.
The third company to offer support is US-based Marvell, who’s CEO pointed out it has a working relationship with both Nvidia and Arm in its statement.
“Nvidia has outlined commitments to the Arm ecosystem that address Marvell’s concerns over the proposed transaction. Nvidia and Marvell have a strong existing partnership in Automotive and HPC applications, and Marvell has a longstanding relationship with Arm – as one of the leading licensees of their processor technology which is used in support of the world’s most important data infrastructure applications across 5G, Cloud, Enterprise, and Automotive,” states Marvell official
Marvell official also said that the company finds several benefits from a combination with Nvidia, including an acceleration of roadmaps for high-end CPU cores and the enablement of broader adoption of Arm-based designs in the industry. “With the implementation of robust licensing policies that ensure equal and timely access and fair terms, Marvell is supportive of the transaction,” states Marvell official.
Marvell supports the assertion from Nvidia that its investment, IP, and engineering expertise will help Arm build higher performing CPU cores. All three companies believe Nvidia will continue Arm’s previous licensing model. (Note: These three quotes have been posted at Arm.NVIDIA.com)
The deal is moving toward a critical juncture as several governments review the deal. These supportive quotes from key Arm customers reaffirm Nvidia’s message that its acquisition of Arm will not limit competition and will lead to a stronger and more competitive Arm business, architecture, and ecosystem. TIRIAS Research has looked at the deal and see an acquisition of Arm as the best option for it to effectively compete with its larger competitors.
But one thing TIRIAS Research believes is critical to Nvidia successfully completing the acquisition is gaining support from the Arm ecosystem. With this support from three major Arm licensees, Nvidia’s assertions that its acquisition of Arm would lead to a healthier Arm gains significant validation and strengthens its case with regulators.
(The story is based on TIRIAS Research Analyst Kevin Krewell article)