NVIDIA reportedly made a billion-dollar offer to acquire chip maker ARM from Softbank, but not everyone is happy with the deal. One of the semiconductor company’s co-founders, Hermann Hauser, said the deal would be damaging and would destroy the British company.
According to Hauser, NVIDIA’s goal with the acquisition is to bring ARM to its divisional umbrella, which also includes the GeForce line. With this, the company could limit the licensing of Cortex cores and dominate the market.
“One of the fundamental premises of ARM’s business model is that it can sell to everyone,” said the executive. “Softbank’s only saving grace is that it is not a chip company and has maintained ARM’s neutrality.
The acquisition would also put NVIDIA at the top of the mobile phone market, in addition to taking Intel’s crown as the largest CPU manufacturer. Thanks to its licensing program, ARM is present in about 95% of smartphones sold today.
According to Hauser, NVIDIA could limit the distribution of ARM technologies and compel competitors to create new architectures. This process could take years and hinder the development of the technology market, especially smartphones.
The executive expects the British government to intervene and help ARM to become an independent company. The company is currently based in Cambridge, but the acquisition by NVIDIA would take the firm’s technologies to the United States.
According to the co-founder of ARM, the UK government recently injected money into OneWeb, which serves as a hope that the chip maker could receive subsidies to go public on the stock exchange. “This is not about money,” said Hauser, “it is the statement of industrial strategy that the government can make.”