Tech

nVidia and ARM: what it really means for consumers

The mega-merger explained in layman’s terms and why, yes, you should be excited

Kostas Farkonas
Turn On | Press Play
4 min readSep 14, 2020

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It’s the biggest tech acquisition in history in terms of dollars and that’s not even the most important thing about nVidia and ARM merging. (Image credit: ARM)

Some news are big news because of the $$$ attached to their headlines, some are big news because of their importance in certain markets and some are big news because of the future changes they may bring about to everyone’s life. The acquisition of ARM by nVidia checks all three boxes and it really feels like a game changer: the kind of corporate mega-merger that will actually have an impact on a global scale instead of just make a few fat cats even richer. Here are the reasons why.

Basics first: nVidia is buying ARM from Softbank for about 40 billion dollars in a mix of cash, stock and inequity. ARM is the most important chip designer in the world when it comes to mobile devices, as its patented microarchitecture is used by practically every smartphone manufacturer and chip designer from Apple to Samsung to Qualcomm (which supplies the chips found in a large percentage of all Android devices). nVidia does not want to lose those customers and harm a healthy business so it claims that ARM will operate as before out of their headquarters in England. The acquisition will have to be approved by regulatory authorities in the US, Europe, China and the UK before it becomes official (but there is no reason why it shouldn’t).

ARM is known for its smart, versatile, power-efficient chips that are perfect for use in mobile or function specific products — chips that not Intel, not Samsung, not even nVidia themselves were able to compete with, hence the British company’s position in the global market. ARM has also made great progress during the last five years in making its chip designs scalable, meaning that they can be used in a range of devices from a thermostat to a supercomputer while retaining their low power consumption and efficiency.

ARM is known for the chip designs almost everyone uses on their phones — but the company’s strides in the datacenter market are what made it so valuable to nVidia. (Image credit: Christina Morillo, Pexels).

It’s this scalability that made ARM such an attractive target for nVidia as it complements perfectly the latter’s plans for the future. In the coming years tech and the Internet will be all about AI…

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Kostas Farkonas
Turn On | Press Play

Veteran journalist, project kickstarter, tech nut, cynical gamer, music addict, movie maniac | Medium top writer in Television, Movies, Gaming | farkonas.com