US chip maker Qualcomm has announced it is open to the idea of investing in UK chip designer Arm if the company’s US$40 billion sale to Nvidia is blocked by regulators, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
Qualcomm’s incoming CEO, Cristiano Amon, said Qualcomm would be willing to buy a stake in Arm alongside other industry investors if SoftBank, Arm’s current owner, listed the company on the stock market instead of selling it to Nvidia, the newspaper reported Sunday, June 13.
“If Arm has an independent future, I think you will find there is a lot of interest from a lot of the companies within the ecosystem, including Qualcomm, to invest in Arm,” Amon said. “If it moves out of SoftBank and it goes into a process of becoming a publicly-traded company, [with] a consortium of companies that invest, including many of its customers, I think those are great possibilities.”
Amon added that Qualcomm would “definitely be open to it” and that the company has “had discussions with other companies that feel the same way,” The Telegraph reported.
Arm was spun out of an early computing company called Acorn Computers in 1990. The company’s energy-efficient chip architectures are used in 95% of the world’s smartphones and 95% of the chips designed in China. The company licenses its chip designs to more than 500 companies, which use them to make their own chips.
An Nvidia spokesperson told CNBC that Arm needed more than an IPO if it is to achieve its full potential.
“Arm needs an infusion of new technology that it can provide to Arm licensees everywhere, which is why we stepped up and agreed to buy Arm,” the spokesperson said. “Our technologies and Qualcomm’s are highly complementary — we’d welcome Qualcomm’s help in creating new technologies and products for the entire Arm ecosystem.”
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