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Save Arm - Arm is being sold to Nvidia - Help Stop it!

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Save Arm
Arm is being sold to Nvidia.
Help Stop it.

Co-Sign an open letter from Hermann Hauser cofounder of Arm to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Dear Prime Minister,

As one of the founders of Arm I am extremely concerned about the proposed sale of Arm to Nvidia. This concern is shared by many of my colleagues in Cambridge, the UK financial and electronics industry who are all co-signing this letter.

Firstly, we are concerned about the impact on jobs in Cambridge, Manchester, Belfast, Glasgow, Sheffield and Warwick where thousands of Arm employees work. When the headquarters move to the US this will inevitably lead to the loss of jobs and influence in the UK as we have seen with the Cadbury takeover by Kraft.

Secondly, the sale of Arm to Nvidia will destroy the very basis of Arm’s business model which is to be the Switzerland of the semiconductor industry dealing in an even-handed way with its over 500 licensees. Most of them are Nvidia’s competitors. Among them are many UK companies. Assurances to the contrary should be legally binding.

Thirdly, and most importantly for the long term, it is an issue of national economic sovereignty:

Arm is the only remaining UK technology company, with a dominant position in mobile phone microprocessors. It has a market share of over 95%. The UK has suffered from American technology dominance by companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Apple and others. As the American president has weaponised technology dominance in his trade war with China, the UK will become collateral damage unless it has its own trade weapons to bargain with. Arm powers the smartphones of Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and practically every other brand in the world and therefore can exert influence on all of them.

A sale to Nvidia will mean that Arm becomes subject to the US OFAC regulations. There are hundreds of companies in the UK electronics industry employing tens of thousands of people who use ARMs in their products. Many of them export to major global markets including China. They will all have to comply with the US OFAC regulations.

This puts Britain in the invidious position that the decision about who Arm is allowed to sell to will be made in the White House and not in Downing Street.

Sovereignty used to be mainly a geographic issue, but now economic sovereignty is equally important. Surrendering UK’s most powerful trade weapon to the US is making Britain a US vassal state.

There are three conditions that are imperative for this deal to be allowed to go through.

They all have to be legally binding or they are useless:
  1. Legally binding job guarantees for Arm employees in the UK
  2. Legally binding agreement that Nvidia must not gain any preferential treatment over other Arm licensees.
  3. Britain must get an exemption from the US OFAC regulation so that UK companies are guaranteed unfettered access to our own microprocessor technology.
The natural alternative to an Arm sale to Nvidia is to take Arm public on the London Stock Exchange and make it a British owned company again with a Golden Share for national economic security. As you have spent £500m to help OneWeb out of Chapter 11, which arguably is not as important to Britain as Arm, you could spend £1-2bn as the anchor investor for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange and get a Golden Share for it so that this problem cannot happen again. An IPO was always the declared route to liquidity for Softbank.

If you do not make Arm a British owned company again with a Golden Share for national economic security, history will remember you as the person who, when the chips are down, failed to act in the national interest.

Yours sincerely

Dr Hermann Hauser FRS, KBE


 

count

Active member
I signed the petition, because ARM needs to remain neutral and not compete with it's customers.
How much overlap is there between NVidia's primarily GPU business and Arm's primarily CPU business? There is Tegra, but that's pretty small isn't it? Could NVidia just divest that? I agree there are potential competitive concerns but I think there are ways for Nvidia to avoid being in a conflict of interest with other licensees. On the other hand, imagine NVidia starts licensing it's CUDA cores? An Arm processer with integrated CUDA cores for AI? That sounds great to me.
 

Daniel Payne

Moderator
How much overlap is there between NVidia's primarily GPU business and Arm's primarily CPU business? There is Tegra, but that's pretty small isn't it? Could NVidia just divest that? I agree there are potential competitive concerns but I think there are ways for Nvidia to avoid being in a conflict of interest with other licensees. On the other hand, imagine NVidia starts licensing it's CUDA cores? An Arm processer with integrated CUDA cores for AI? That sounds great to me.
Arm has no motivation to license its crown IP in the CUDA cores, because that is their competitive advantage in the marketplace.
 

count

Active member
What I'm trying to say is the NVidia/Arm combination isn't necessarily going to be anti competitive as everyone is assuming. I think NVidia understands how important the health of the overall Arm ecosystem and I don't think they bought Arm in an attempt to monopolize the fabless industry. Jensen Huang is smart enough to know that a move like that would backfire. Arm offers NVidia a path to get it's GPU technology into mobile where it's presence is currently limited. Maybe NVidia will wind down it's largely unsuccessful efforts with Tegra, and instead start working on reference designs for HPC that combine Arm and NVidia technology instead? There are a lot of scenarios I can see that would create a lot of value for Nvidia while not putting it in direct competition with customers.
 

f4rewell1

Member
https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/nvidia-analyst-says-chipmaker-could-172509465.html



An overlooked "Plan B' scenario would rely on Nvidia leveraging its current R&D assets and new Arm IP license payment to develop Arm-based servers to address an incremental $20 billion-plus market opportunity that's dominated today by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) x86 servers, Arya said.

Arm, which dominates low power/low-performance mobile/IoT markets, has a mere 3% share in the server market compared to 90% for Intel, the analyst said.

Nvidia has the ability to create a new category of Arm-based servers that flexibly spread workload across a pre-possessing layer, Arm-based CPU and acceleration layer, which is Nivida's GPU, he said.

The Plan B envisages a $2-billion down payment and expands Nvidia's total addressable market by at least $20 billion, suggesting a more attractive cost-benefit, Arya said.

The option makes it harder for Nvidia to drive Arm's roadmap and eliminates or minimizes its opportunity to cross-sell its graphics and AI technology to Arm's larger mobile and IoT base, the analyst said.
 

f4rewell1

Member
4374914-nvidias-arm-acquisition-good-for-nvidia-bad-for-amd


With the purchase of ARM, Nvidia could easily leverage the ARM license deals in its favor. One method would be by uncoupling the ARM CPU and GPU IPs and instead offering an Nvidia GPU in the aforementioned bundle. This would probably occur at higher (and incrementally increasing) licensing fees. This push for Nvidia GPUs over Mali would shake up the entire mobile chip environment.
Bad for AMD
The first effect would be pushing competitors out of the market. For example, unlike Apple’s (AAPL) recent shift to ARM, which I called a blessing in disguise for AMD, Nvidia’s recent ARM-focused action is bad news for AMD. Nvidia could push AMD’s GPUs out of the mobile market. Samsung’s (OTC:SSNLF) upcoming Exynos SoC GPU is being developed by AMD.


Nvidia is likely to put a stop to the AMD ARM GPU. A few possibilities exist. For example, Nvidia could deny AMD the license. It could make the license deal with AMD unreasonably expensive. It could step in and offer Samsung a better deal. But the main reason I believe the Samsung-AMD deal will end is simply the threat of these aforementioned reasons. I discuss this more below; essentially, AMD cannot responsibly continue its reliance on ARM for its GPU deal with Samsung as that would not only make it reliant on Nvidia’s goodwill but also means that it is funneling its money to its direct competitor, which is a clear opportunity cost.
Nvidia’s ARM purchase could also put Qualcomm (QCOM) and PowerVR in danger. Smartphones SoCs aiming for ARM CPUs will see a heightened incentive to get Nvidia GPUs on the cheap. Moreover, as Nvidia GPUs begin eating up the mobile market share, more companies will be driven to code in CUDA, a free software platform released by Nvidia allowing for coding with Nvidia – and only Nvidia – GPUs.
Controlling ARM License Deals
As mentioned above, Nvidia’s ownership of ARM puts it in control of ARM license deals. Nvidia could simply refuse to provide ARM licenses to companies it deems to be in direct competition. In fact, the mere possibility of this is enough of a threat to force Nvidia competitors to leave certain markets. For a company to be reliant on the goodwill of Nvidia to continue providing ARM licenses is a liability, and for the sake of its shareholders, other options will certainly be considered.
Then, there is the licensing fee issue. SoftBank only barely made back its investment on its purchase of ARM via its licensing fees (ARM’s primary revenue stream), but in the hands of Nvidia, these licensing fees are worth more than their tiny ROIs. Nvidia’s ARM-reliant competitors now must “pay a tithe.” Money moving from one competitor to the other – all things being equal – is a change in the market that clearly benefits Nvidia while hurting Nvidia’s rivals.
AMD’s reliance on ARM technology now puts a sizable portion of its licensing spending into a river flowing directly to its direct competitor in the GPU market, essentially partially funding its opposition. This cash flow is clearly bullish for Nvidia, bearish for AMD, and might even result in AMD abandoning ARM for something like RISC-V, an act that would be bearish in at least the short term for AMD due to the investment required.
Moreover, we could see Nvidia produce ARM-based CPUs on the cheap in the near future, effectively entering the ARM CPU market to compete with AMD (and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)) on two fronts. Nvidia would not need to pay for ARM licensing, giving it an edge. This could allow Nvidia to enter new markets. One obvious market is the datacenter market, in which it can undercut its competitors, possibly pushing bundled deals with its highest-margin products and even offering its main moneymaker, GPUs. This, again, is bearish for AMD, as AMD has been hitting the datacenter market hard as of late.

Nvidia: Opening New Doors and Trade Implications
The purchase of ARM truly does open new doors for Nvidia in ways it did not for SoftBank.
 

Shashank V M

New member
Even if NVIDIA does not acquire Arm, who will save Arm from RISC-V?
In my opinion, NVIDIA acquiring Arm might in fact save Arm from becoming obsolete in the future.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Even if NVIDIA does not acquire Arm, who will save Arm from RISC-V?
In my opinion, NVIDIA acquiring Arm might in fact save Arm from becoming obsolete in the future.
What will Apple, QCOM, Samsung, Huawei, and the other big SoC players do without the Arm alliance? They don't just license IP, it is a close collaboration with Arm and TSMC. And since Nvidia is a close Samsung partner will TSMC even collaborate with Nvidia/Arm on advanced process technology?
 

Shashank V M

New member
What will Apple, QCOM, Samsung, Huawei, and the other big SoC players do without the Arm alliance? They don't just license IP, it is a close collaboration with Arm and TSMC. And since Nvidia is a close Samsung partner will TSMC even collaborate with Nvidia/Arm on advanced process technology?
RISC-V is expected to dominate the computing landscape in the future. Most likely many companies will form a consortium and accelerate the development of open-source RISC-V IP, if NVIDIA acquires Arm. RISC-V will eventually dominate the computing landscape, just like Linux did. But NVIDIA and Arm might be a capable combination to take on RISC-V.
 
RISC-V will eventually dominate the computing landscape, just like Linux did.
Big difference between Linux and RISC-V is that RISC-V does not have a Linus Torvalds. The originators of RISC-V are tied up in SiFive who are heavily competing with the other RISC-V players. I do hope RISC-V will dominate the CPU landscape as Linux did for UNIX but the current constellation is not in favor of it.
 

Shashank V M

New member
Big difference between Linux and RISC-V is that RISC-V does not have a Linus Torvalds. The originators of RISC-V are tied up in SiFive who are heavily competing with the other RISC-V players. I do hope RISC-V will dominate the CPU landscape as Linux did for UNIX but the current constellation is not in favor of it.
Your argument about SiFive competing with other RISC-V players is very irrelevant. Western Digital has already worked on SweRV processors. RISC-V is controlled by RISC-V International, which is based in Switzerland. RISC-V International is guaranteed to be neutral and free from the influence of governments. RISC-V International has many corporate members from countries around the world and the ISA is open-source. I have joined the RISC-V mailing list and have witnessed the neutrality in its operations.
 
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count

Active member
What will Apple, QCOM, Samsung, Huawei, and the other big SoC players do without the Arm alliance? They don't just license IP, it is a close collaboration with Arm and TSMC. And since Nvidia is a close Samsung partner will TSMC even collaborate with Nvidia/Arm on advanced process technology?
Why is everyone assuming the Arm alliance will die with NVidia?
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
I'm sure it will survive on paper but Nvidia works closely with Samsung and Apple works closely with TSMC. I'm not sure how it will work when Nvidia controls ARM. Will TSMC still keep Arm in the inner circle? I highly doubt it. I'm sure Apple has post Nvidia/Arm acquisition plans and that may involve RISC-V or something internal but I highly doubt Nvidia/Arm will be part of Apple's future SoCs.


Why is everyone assuming the Arm alliance will die with NVidia?
 
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