Nvidia’s (NVDA) $40 billion ARM deal faces a slew of roadblocks from regulators here and abroad. But Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said if the deal doesn’t go through the company will still continue to perform at the same high level it has been.
Jensen, who was fresh off of a virtual keynote at Nvidia’s GTC 2021 conference, told Yahoo Finance Live that the company wants to continue to see a large diversity of central processing units (CPUs) available, because it provides more opportunity for Nvidia to add its graphics processing units (GPUs) to the mix to enable things like artificial intelligence (AI).
“We would go forward very nicely as we’re going forward today,” Huang said. “So we support all CPUs. We love the flourishing of CPUs and the reason for that is because the CPU is the first chip in the system. It boots the operating system. And wherever there are CPUs there are opportunities for accelerated computing.”
Nvidia announced its plan to buy ARM from SoftBank in September 2020, but the deal has been hung up in regulatory purgatory for sometime.
The U.S., the U.K. (where ARM is based), the European Union and China are all looking into the potential impact the deal would have on the global chip industry.
ARM is a neutral player in the chip industry, licensing its chip designs and software to firms around the world. Apple, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Samsung are just a few of the companies that use ARM’s designs to craft their own custom chips.
The fear for them is that Nvidia would no longer allow ARM to act as a neutral third party, and could cut off competing companies from ARMs all-important designs. According to Bloomberg, Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm have already lodged their complaints about the potential deal with antitrust regulators. Nvidia, for its part, has said that it will maintain ARM’s neutrality.
According to Huang, joining Nvidia and ARM will give the British chip designer access to Nvidia’s deep research and development expertise and pockets.
“The benefit of ARM being part of Nvidia is that we could accelerate their R&D scale,” Huang said. “ARM, as you know, are quite successful in mobile devices. But we could help them be much more successful in all other areas of computing.”
Nvidia has been using ARM CPUs for years, including in its new Orin system on a chip, which features a 12-core ARM CPU.
For now the ARM deal will miss its initial deadline of the first half of 2022. Last month, the European Union’s European Commission announced it launched an in-depth investigation into the potential deal. How it proceeds will partially determine the ultimate fate of the tie-up.
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