NVIDIA and Arm Deal in Regulatory Peril

Summary Bullets:

S. Schuchart

• The NVIDIA-Arm deal has interesting technological potential, but will likely chill competition

• Regulators worldwide are viewing big tech deals with an increasingly skeptical eye

In the ongoing saga of NVIDIA’s proposed purchase of the UK-based silicon design firm Arm Semiconductor Ltd. regulators have stepped in to stop the deal. Arm develops the architecture of the ARM processor, and then licenses it to other companies for use in their designs. ARM-derived processors have become extremely popular, appearing in almost every modern smartphone design, thousands of other proprietary, servers, and probably most famously as the latest CPU architecture for the Macintosh line of computers from Apple. Amazon’s AWS service has servers that AWS developed that use ARM architecture. In short, ARM is essentially everywhere and only Intel’s x86 architecture has had more success. ARM is the first processor architecture to get anywhere close and is considered vital in the technology marketplace.

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