Softbank, the Japanese owner of the British CPU developer ARM, apparently wants to sell the division. Talks were held with several companies, including Apple and Nvidia. During Cupertino loud Bloomberg but ultimately did not make an offer, Jensen Huang’s company was more interested in a potential deal with Softbank.
The Japanese acquired ARM for $ 32 billion in the summer of 2016, the purchase price is almost 50 percent above ARM’s market value. For many manufacturers worldwide, ARM is an enormously important company because the British hold the self-developed ARM license, which is used in billions of chips in hundreds of designs. ARM designs CPU cores itself, these range from Cortex-M0 + for microcontrollers to Cortex-A78 for smartphones.
Some partners also hold an architecture license, including Apple and Nvidia. The former have been developing their own designs for iPhones and iPads for many years, in the future all Mac systems will also be driven with the Apple Silicon. Starting with the A6 from 2012, Cupertino had built its own CPU cores, which from the start were among the best in terms of speed and efficiency, which is available in the mobile segment. Nvidia, in turn, invented cores like Denver and Carmel for the Tegra SoC.
In recent years, multiple attempts have also been made to implement ARM-based designs for servers. Amazon’s AWS already uses its own 64-core Graviton2 for commercial CPU instances, there are also processors from Ampere (Altra Max with 128C), Huawei (Hi1620 alias Kunpeng 920 with 64C), Fujitus (A64FX with 52C) and Marvell ( ThunderX3 with 96C). Appropriate software support from Linux has long been available, in the consumer notebook segment there is also Windows 10 on ARM for Qualcomm’s Snapdragons.