If Nvidia is allowed to acquire Arm from SoftBank, Arm will have ‘firewalls’ in place to ensure the data center chip company will not have access to information from Arm’s customers or get early access to Arm products. The news about this was confirmed by a top exec at Arm on Tuesday.
The deal to acquire Arm was announced last month and is worth $40 billion. It will change the global semiconductor industry where Arm has been a neutral supplier of intellectual property to companies like Qualcomm, Apple, and others.
They provide many of the chips that run the world’s smartphones and other kinds of chips too.
The separation of Nvidia and Arm under the same roof
Nvidia has taken over Intel’s position as the most prominent U.S. chip company by market cap, backed by its strong standing in data center chips for AI. The company has said that it will maintain the openly licensed model Arm’s businesses use, to sell their tech in the chip industry.
However, chips take years between the idea stage until they are committed to silicon.
Subsequently, Arm’s customers usually disclose information about plans when they are discussing licensing. Arm customers share sales forecasts and figures so that royalty payments can be calculated.
Arm’s confidential information will be protected
Rene Haas, the president of Arm’s IP Products, said that the company plans to keep the firewalls up between the two companies and will not give any early access to Nvidia. However, Haas said that some information will still need to be given to Nvidia.
For example, suppose significant customers disclose that they plan to move to RISC-V, an open-source competitor to Arm. In that case, that could lead to a downturn in sales and affect the general Nvidia financial results. Such information would have to be disclosed to the parent company.