Qualcomm, Google, and Microsoft aren't happy about Nvidia buying Arm

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 415   +792
Well, the most immediate thought is they will get to start licensing ARM's IP to themselves for free. That right there will cut their own costs, boosting their profits. You may also see additional products from nVidia in market segments they previously haven't really touched - like mobile phone processors with really beefy GPUs.

They don't necessarily need to put the screws to their competition when they go to ARM for licensing, but nVidia likely can take advantage of their position to make themselves really competitive in any computing sector they enter.

Thats a good point, but as I mentioned, they dont really need to purchase ARM for that much money to do those things.

And they already failed big time in mobile with Tegra, even though is working for the Nintendo Switch.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,266
TechSpot Elite
Microsoft and Google both operate their own monopolies, they're in no position to point fingers. That they would whine about this is extremely hypocritical. It makes me ask some "pressing questions":

  1. Who really cares what Microsoft and Google are whining about?
  2. When has Microsoft cared when they did things to Windows to spy on us?
  3. When has Microsoft cared when their updates made Windows unstable?
  4. Has Google ever cared enough to properly moderate YouTube comments?

As far as I'm concerned, they can both go straight to whatever netherworld you believe in (Hell, Tartarus, Gehenna, Acheron, etc.) and never return.

Now, on the other hand, Qualcomm's concern is understandable because their Snapdragon Mobile SoC is ARM-based and so they are directly affected by this and nVidia isn't any better a company than either Microsoft or Google.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 786   +1,113
Now, on the other hand, Qualcomm's concern is understandable because their Snapdragon Mobile SoC is ARM-based and so they are directly affected by this and nVidia isn't any better a company than either Microsoft or Google.
Considering the smartphone paradigm has been used to accelerate the erosion of privacy, the cheapening of app development, and the centralization of app deployment... good.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 415   +792
Microsoft and Google both operate their own monopolies, they're in no position to point fingers. That they would whine about this is extremely hypocritical. It makes me ask some "pressing questions":

  1. Who really cares what Microsoft and Google are whining about?
  2. When has Microsoft cared when they did things to Windows to spy on us?
  3. When has Microsoft cared when their updates made Windows unstable?
  4. Has Google ever cared enough to properly moderate YouTube comments?

As far as I'm concerned, they can both go straight to whatever netherworld you believe in (Hell, Tartarus, Gehenna, Acheron, etc.) and never return.

Now, on the other hand, Qualcomm's concern is understandable because their Snapdragon Mobile SoC is ARM-based and so they are directly affected by this and nVidia isn't any better a company than either Microsoft or Google.

There are plenty of rumors of both Google and MS investing into their own ARM silicon.

And given that Nvidia already burned MS in the past, I can see them being concerned, if they are indeed planning in releasing their own SOC's.

About Qualcomm itself, well, they are definitely no saints, but then again, no corporation is...
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,839   +2,151
Staff member
You may also see additional products from nVidia in market segments they previously haven't really touched - like mobile phone processors with really beefy GPUs.
When Nvidia held various press conferences after the purchase bid announcement, there was a distinct lack of discussion about mobile phones and related SoCs; all of the focus was on AI and datacenters. Even Nvidia's own webpage on their plan for Arm is at pains to point this out.

Of course, this isn't to say they don't have such plans, but entering that market is not going to be easy. While revenue has risen, due to increases in prices, unit sales have hit somewhat of a plateau. Unless Nvidia brought out some kind of an uber-SoC, for a very competitive price, they'd not find many customers.

On the other hand, the AI/datacenter hardware market is still very volatile, with all of the other main vendors (Intel, AMD, Google, Amazon) going their own separate ways. It's still too young and developing too rapidly, for it to settle down into the same kind of format as other computing sectors.

As we know, Intel's making their own HPC GPUs, and Google/Amazon are increasingly using their own chips. Only AMD is actively seeking partnerships, hence why they teamed up with Nvidia for the DGX A100. The latter would love nothing better to have those systems use nothing but their own chips, and for them to be noticeably better than the competition.

Since Google/Amazon are using custom ASICs, they're always going to struggle against them, but unless Intel have something really special lined up with their HPC GPUs, Nvidia should still hold the fort, when it comes to GPU performance. But what they could really do with is a custom, highly efficient CPU (and other controllers) and that's where Arm comes in.
 

Chad Pattan

Posts: 7   +1
Maybe nVidia should stay in their lane and stick to making video cards.

What?

I said maybe.

To be fair, nVidia was doing CPUs many years ago (nForce).

The only reason they stopped is that Intel effectively saturated the market. And continues to do so today.

I don't have a problem with them trying to increase competition. ARM alone has not made a dent in hardly anything - and nVidia has money to throw at that problem. Plus if it helps us get a better Nintendo Switch sooner rather than later, I'm all for it.

I do question, "why now" of all times.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,266
TechSpot Elite
Considering the smartphone paradigm has been used to accelerate the erosion of privacy, the cheapening of app development, and the centralization of app deployment... good.
That's why my Google account doesn't have my real name attached. As far as they know, my name is "Avro Arrow" as it says on my YouTube comments. :laughing:
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,266
TechSpot Elite
There are plenty of rumors of both Google and MS investing into their own ARM silicon.

And given that Nvidia already burned MS in the past, I can see them being concerned, if they are indeed planning in releasing their own SOC's.

About Qualcomm itself, well, they are definitely no saints, but then again, no corporation is...
Well, if nVidia has burned Microsoft in the past, then I stand corrected when I said that nVidia has never done anything that I approve of. Also, if nVidia blocks the way for those two giants to get even more into a position to rule the world, all I can say is "Yay nVidia!". :laughing:

And sure, Qualcomm is no saint (as you rightly point out, no corporation is) but they've never shown themselves to be absolute scumbags like MS and Google have. Qualcomm has done well in the cellular market but they've never had a complete stranglehold on it. so they can go to hell too! :D
 
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NeoMorpheus

Posts: 415   +792
Well, if nVidia has burned Microsoft in the past, then I stand corrected when I said that nVidia has never done anything that I approve of. Also, if nVidia blocks the way for those two giants to get even more into a position to rule the world, all I can say is "Yay nVidia!". :laughing:

And sure, Qualcomm is no saint (as you rightly point out, no corporation is) but they've never shown themselves to be absolute scumbags like MS and Google have. Qualcomm has done well in the cellular market but they've never had a complete stranglehold on it.
One quick search about Qualcomm: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/samsung-intel-qualcomm-frand-abuse,34411.html
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,266
TechSpot Elite
To be fair, nVidia was doing CPUs many years ago (nForce).
When was nForce a CPU? The nForce name was used for nVidia northbridge and southbridge chipsets that allowed the use of SLI. The modern equivalent of nForce would be something like AMD X570 or Intel Z590. The only CPU that nVidia ever made was the Tegra, an ARM-based CPU which only ever found widespread use in the Nintendo Switch and a few phones here and there.

There's no chance of nVidia ever making an x86 CPU because only three companies have licences to do so. Those three are AMD, Intel and VIA. Nobody else can legally make an x86 CPU without the express permission (and assistance) of one of those three companies. There's no way that would happen because those three would never give tech to nVidia and there's no way that nVidia would ever be allowed to buy one of those three companies.

Through governmental incompetence corruption (nVidia greased enough palms), nVidia was allowed to buy ARM. It literally blows my mind that this was allowed because it mostly means the end of the open-source ARM architecture. I say mostly because I'm sure that China will do what they want with the ARM whether nVidia likes it or not because they have gargantuan supercomputers that use ARM cores already. I'm quite sure that nVidia won't be able to even slow down Chinese innovations to improve their own ARM-based tech.

It's also possible that China will dump ARM in favour of x86 because the Chinese government has been working closely with VIA as of late. Linus Tech Tips and Tech Yes City each profiled one of these Chinese VIA-based CPUs in one of their videos:
LTT:
Tech Yes City:
However, nVidia has no hope of this and never has.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,839   +2,151
Staff member
It literally blows my mind that this was allowed because it mostly means the end of the open-source ARM architecture.
Arm isn't open source architecture. What they did (and only two years ago) was alter the design of the Cortex-M33 to include a custom instruction decoder, alongside the main one. So those customer who licenced that architecture could then tweak the instruction set, as they saw fit, without the need for agreeing a whole new (and thus expensive) agreement.

I'm more concerned that their excellent DesignStart programme will get nixxed.
 

Porkous

Posts: 128   +37
Nvidia has to become a new entity, it has to become ARM.
ARM becoming Nvidia? Maybe this perspective is more visible due of the direction Nvidia is planning on expanding.

The issue might be that this endeavor might cost Nvidia... itself. Would Nvidia give up being Nvidia? Arm cannot give up being ARM, it is part of everyone, so it is greater than itself.

I am more happy that Nvidia bought it, rather any other viable scenario like, another big company grabbing it. At least Nvidia is trying to grow, while other companies are already humongous in the sphere
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 415   +792
Nvidia has to become a new entity, it has to become ARM.
ARM becoming Nvidia? Maybe this perspective is more visible due of the direction Nvidia is planning on expanding.

The issue might be that this endeavor might cost Nvidia... itself. Would Nvidia give up being Nvidia? Arm cannot give up being ARM, it is part of everyone, so it is greater than itself.

I am more happy that Nvidia bought it, rather any other viable scenario like, another big company grabbing it. At least Nvidia is trying to grow, while other companies are already humongous in the sphere

I'm sorry, but man, you are naive.

Just because you love that company so much and decided to ignore the loads of facts given as to why Nvidia is a really sh!tty company to the whole industry and even their own customer, you still think that they will simply purge their "Evil" ways just because they got ARM?

They will corrupt ARM to their absolute core and turn then into the same anti-competitive and anti-consumer entity that Nvidia already is.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,839   +2,151
Staff member
So good time to invest into ARM if it goes public? Or can you buy shares already?
Arm was listed on the FTSE 100, until Softbank bought them in 2016, so no shares are available at the moment. Their current owners definitely want to sell off Arm (they spent a small fortune buying it, threw a lot of R&D and staffing money at it, but targeted the wrong sector for Arm to start developing in) so if the Nvidia deal fails to go through, Softbank have one of two options: find a new buyer or essentially make it independent, and float it on the markets again.

If the latter happened, would it be worth an investment or two? Maybe. The direction that Softbank pushed them towards (Internet of Things) failed miserably (they bought and promptly sold off various businesses), but AI & datacenters have significant potential.

However, for all of the concerns and vocal complaints about the deal, I suspect that Nvidia will own Arm. Softbank got away with it because they made legally binding agreements as to Arm's business operations (e.g. location, staff numbers, commitment to R&D), and Nvidia is agreeing to do the same.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,807   +1,039
Thats a good point, but as I mentioned, they dont really need to purchase ARM for that much money to do those things.

And they already failed big time in mobile with Tegra, even though is working for the Nintendo Switch.
That is because Tegra is overkill for a phone. Tegra is targeted at robotics and automated driving functions. The Switch is the exception to its use in a consumer device.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,266
TechSpot Elite
Arm isn't open source architecture. What they did (and only two years ago) was alter the design of the Cortex-M33 to include a custom instruction decoder, alongside the main one. So those customer who licenced that architecture could then tweak the instruction set, as they saw fit, without the need for agreeing a whole new (and thus expensive) agreement.

I'm more concerned that their excellent DesignStart programme will get nixxed.
Ah ok. Thanks for that, I didn't realise that it was set up that way. I just thought that ARM was OS because everyone and their mother started using it for everything from small mobile devices to huge Chinese supercomputers.

The devil is always in the details! :laughing:
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 256   +348
I can see it now.....

Nvidia gets acquisition of ARM.

A month later an announcement comes from Nvidia:

We regret to inform you that due to demand of our ARM chips, manufacturing has fallen behind, but we are doing everything in our power to increase the production and availability of these chips. We strongly believe that within the next 6 months to 6 years we will have caught up to the demand and inventory will balance out.

Unfortunately due to the limited supply of chips and the exceedingly high demand, the costs of these chips may be felt across the entire industry. Please bear with us as we diligently work with the manufacturing process and clientele to keep increased costs at a minimum.

That is all. Thank you for your time.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 415   +792
I can see it now.....

Nvidia gets acquisition of ARM.

A month later an announcement comes from Nvidia:

We regret to inform you that due to demand of our ARM chips, manufacturing has fallen behind, but we are doing everything in our power to increase the production and availability of these chips. We strongly believe that within the next 6 months to 6 years we will have caught up to the demand and inventory will balance out.

Unfortunately due to the limited supply of chips and the exceedingly high demand, the costs of these chips may be felt across the entire industry. Please bear with us as we diligently work with the manufacturing process and clientele to keep increased costs at a minimum.

That is all. Thank you for your time.

You forgot to add " In the meantime, the Founder Editions are available."