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Nvidia Purchase of ARM Under Investigation For Anti-Trust

Dwayne

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Odd, why would a GPU company buying a CPU company trigger an anti-trust investigation? AMD seems to have no issue, and it NVidia purchasing ARM could cause a situation of non-competitiveness you would think the same could be said of any company making both CPUs and GPUs.
 

Mr. Friendly

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Odd, why would a GPU company buying a CPU company trigger an anti-trust investigation? AMD seems to have no issue, and it NVidia purchasing ARM could cause a situation of non-competitiveness you would think the same could be said of any company making both CPUs and GPUs.
if that's not a sarcastic comment, it's because there is only one ARM, while there are many GPU companies, so no closed competition. Nvidia could put the squeeze on all their dependents, so on the premise of that thread, an investigation is started.
 

moocow

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Commercial leverage for one. Second is that it's easy for Nvidia to abuse their position by cutting off people's access to ARM public IP and make themselves the only ARM player.
 

CMetaphor

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Nonetheless, Nvidia getting ARM is welcome in my book. Let's have a whole new platform possibility: an Nvidia/Arm CPU on its own socket motherboard with support for anyone's GPUs.


I absolutely welcome this merger. ARM chips on their own are not prolific enough that an ownership would change much for them. Outstanding contracts would be upheld. Where is the antitrust issue?
 

Dwayne

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if that's not a sarcastic comment, it's because there is only one ARM, while there are many GPU companies, so no closed competition. Nvidia could put the squeeze on all their dependents, so on the premise of that thread, an investigation is started.

Not sarcastic at all. ARM is a CPU company, like Intel and AMD. They don't produce GPUs, like Intel and AMD. Why would NVidia's purchase trigger anti-trust?

From what I can see ARM licenses their IP to many companies, as opposed to AMD and Intel which are competitors in the x86 space. In fact, ARM could be considered an up and coming competitor to the x86 uarch.
 

Dwayne

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Commercial leverage for one. Second is that it's easy for Nvidia to abuse their position by cutting off people's access to ARM public IP and make themselves the only ARM player.

I can't say I know anything about the business these companies operate in. But I imagine there is nothing stopping ARM from withdrawing it's IP and moving forward on their own should they so chose at any time. I guess that is the "fear". That NVidia buys the company and stops licensing the IP and then moves to fill the void with their own product?
 

JD

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I believe the issue is NVIDIA licenses ARM today (Tegra) so buying it is to their personal benefit and gain. Likewise, there's a chance that NVIDIA pulls everyone's licenses and locks them out of ARM entirely.

Do remember, Tegra powers things like the Nintendo Switch, various car infotainment systems, and even self-driving systems too. Hyundia/Kia announced plans to use NVIDIA DRIVE in the coming years as a recent example.

NVIDIA taking ownership of a CPU architecture would likely lead to them locking everyone else out of ARM so they could be the dominant player against Intel & AMD.
 

Sagath

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Arnt ARM cpus also powering a vast quantity of cellular devices as well, in addition to containing GPU capabilities?

The Qualcomm Snapdragon looks to contain quite a bit of ARM info. NV taking all of that IP is a huge chunk of market player lumped into one company.

I dunno. I don't know enough of the corporate world and legal crap, but I do know I'm not a fan of super-companies just buying every small guy up and burying them in to another hidden division...
 

Lysrin

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I think it is fairly clear from that article, and the ones linked from it what the concern is. The last paragraph sums it up pretty well I think (bold me for emphasis):

"ARM is a chip architecture designer that licenses the designs out to parties interested in incorporating the designs in their own silicon. Among ARM's licensees are Apple, Samsung, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Huawei HiSilicon, Nvidia itself, and more, with its chip designs in almost every smartphone currently in the consumer's hands. Apple's latest M1 chip also contains ARM technology. The concern is that Nvidia's ownership of ARM would give it too much power over its competitors."

Quite frankly ARM is everywhere.

If I were one of those companies other than NVIDIA using ARM designs I wouldn't be comfortable with NVIDIA's "vow to maintain ARM's neutrality and its open licensing model" without some significant legal teeth behind it. Maybe there is some protection in the exiting ARM licensing but in all the articles I read on the topic no one seems to be suggesting that.

I don't have an opinion as to whether or not NVIDIA should have been allowed to buy ARM or not, but they could put significant pressure on competitors to either pay them more to continue to license ARM or lock them out of ARM technologies when licenses expire.

The other part here in some of the voices seems to be UK pride in the ARM legacy. Nothing wrong with that, but if the companies find ARM less attractive to use because of this buy, and thus ARM is used less in new products, that certainly gives them reason to sound off. Not a reason to reverse the purchase, but I get it.
 

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