Foreign media: Multiple chip companies oppose Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm
According to foreign media Fudzilla, multiple well-informed sources told them that there has been a large-scale uprising in Silicon Valley in response to the proposed Nvidia-ARM acquisition. Fudzilla further stated that they have spoken to people at multiple technology companies and based on discussions, everyone but ARM and Nvidia believe the deal will be bad for the industry.
Regulators from China and the European Union may strongly oppose this, but that is a question for the future, as it has traditionally taken 18 to 24 months to complete a major merger.
The report further noted that an exciting coalition of Intel, Qualcomm, Tesla and some other major players in the chip market is in talks to take coordinated action and express their concerns to the relevant authorities in the United States and around the world . According to reports, the relevant progress of this alliance will be announced soon.
The report emphasizes that Apple has also participated in relevant discussions, but Apple may withdraw from this exciting group, because they may reach a separate agreement with ARM-Nvidia.
Both AMD and Nvidia highlighted at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference and ARM’s Developer Summit how great it would be to combine the two.
But current U.S.-China relations, the Huawei issue, and the U.S. relationship with the European Union heavily plague the deal. What’s more, ARM’s licensees don’t want a dominant chip company like Nvidia to see their technology and dictate the future of ARM’s roadmap.
The report also said that each of the large ARM licensees has begun researching alternatives, with Risc-V standing out.
Will the British government step in to block this deal?
Meanwhile, British ministers at all levels said they “would not hesitate” to intervene in Nvidia’s £30bn takeover of British chipmaker Arm, according to thisismoney.
Among them, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden is in charge of the government’s deal and has the power to order the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate. But so far, he has remained silent. However, the report pointed out that the think business unit is considering the deal.
But yesterday, officials paved the way for a possible intervention. The spokesman said: “Arm is an important part of the UK technology sector and makes a significant contribution to the UK economy. While acquisitions are primarily a commercial matter for both parties, the government monitors these transactions closely and should be considered when acquisitions could have significant implications for the UK. When impacted, we will not hesitate to investigate further and take appropriate action.”
Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Lord Manderson has also joined the call for an investigation, saying in an interview with London newspaper City AM that the takeover was a “direct threat to our supply and sovereign security in the UK and Europe” and said The ministers were accused of “waving the Union Jack while selling the crown jewels”.
“We rarely have tech champions,” Mandelson added. “But here at Arm, the government seems ready to sit back and watch,”
However, Nvidia said Arm would still license chip designs to rivals and vowed to invest in Arm’s business in the UK.
Nvidia forms an alliance to strike a deal?
In addition to making various promises, Nvidia seems to have other moves in order to seal the deal.
In order to complete the landmark acquisition of chip IP supplier Arm Ltd., Nvidia has highlighted its partner ecosystem as it seeks to expand its broad business scope to AI, HPC and the network edge,media HPC reported. Not surprisingly, these platform alliances are all using Arm-based architectures.
At this week’s Arm Developer Conference, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang highlighted their strategy to retain and integrate Arm’s business model while expanding its roster of chip partners. In the effort to create synergies between AI hardware and software, Jensen Huang mentioned partnerships with Fujitsu, Marvell Technologies and Ampere Computing, the Arm-based company founded in 2018 by former Intel executive Renee James Chip startups.
The three are the “starting point” for combining the Arm platform with a range of CPUs, GPUs and new data center processors (DPUs) to “complete general-purpose computing platforms,” Huang said.
Nvidia’s partnership with Fujitsu focuses on the Arm-based A64FX processor used in Japanese supplier Fugaku’s supercomputer, which is currently at the top of the global supercomputing rankings. “This just shows you the range of Arm architectures, from tens of milliwatts of embedded controllers to the world’s fastest supercomputers,” Huang said.
Nvidia says its engineers are working hard to support Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE) in the Fujitsu A64FX.
Last November, Marvell announced that its Arm-based ThunderX series of server processors would support Nvidia GPUs. Marvell is also porting Nvidia Cuda-X AI tools, HPC libraries, AI frameworks and software development to its ThunderX platform.
Nvidia said it will target GPU-accelerated 64-bit server processors based on the Arm v8-A architecture for HPC, cloud and edge computing. But Huang did not provide further details this week.
Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU released in May. To foster more synergies, Huang also announced further collaborations with the eponymous Arm chip startup.
Ampere Computing has been adding more Arm-based cores to its cloud-native Altra processors since its release two years ago, announcing its 128-core design in June. It expects to begin sampling the chip by the end of 2020.
Duncan Poole, director of platform alliances at Nvidia, pointed out that Ampere Computing and Nvidia will use the Cuda-X tool to combine Arm-based CPUs and their GPU architectures to jointly launch a reference design. Most recently, Nvidia partnered with Ampere Computing to expand the Mt.Jade server platform into cloud gaming. The Altra-based system includes two Arm-based 80-core SoCs, four Nvidia T4 GPUs, and an Nvidia Mellanox BlueField-2 DPU.
Most chip partnerships came months before Nvidia announced its $40 billion acquisition of Arm. These alliances and their deal with Mellanox provide clues to Huang’s overall strategy to dominate AI hardware, software and development tools, while challenging Intel’s server dominance in the data center and extending Nvidia’s influence into HPC.
The UK chip IP supplier is the missing piece: “Arm is finally getting to the point where it can surpass the development of mobile devices,” Huang said at the developer conference. “It’s going to go into high performance, cloud computing, edge, autonomous machines… We should cut in first, make the first commitment to bring the architecture on the platform into the platform.”
Arm’s CEO, Simon Segars, echoed Huang’s assertion that regulators see acquisitions as good for competition, and therefore for computing innovation. Segars added: “AI computing is going to go where the data is, and that’s where I think we have a bigger chance of continuing.”
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