Nvidia itself is an Arm licensee, using the company's CPU architecture for embedded system-on-chips like the Xavier products.
An Nvidia deal makes sense, though Nvidia is a relatively small company compared to the other obvious suitor, Intel.
Nothing has been confirmed, and it remains to be seen if ARM is even interested in Nvidia's offer, but it's one possible avenue for the company. The publications also noted that a deal could invite scrutiny from major companies that license Arm's silicon IP, including Apple and Qualcomm, as well as antitrust regulators.
"With Nvidia's low-priced fabless model enabling it to focus on R&D, engineering and programming, the fit with Arm would be flawless", said Neil Campling, an analyst at Mirabaud Securities.
The Cambridge-based company was purchased by Softbank in 2016 for $31 billion, and Softbank is reportedly eager to offload the asset as it battles losses due to poor investments such as WeWork and Uber. I could imagine Arm being worth more than $40 billion. But like Intel, Nvidia's business has been transforming in recent years from being PC-centric to being datacenter-centric.
"You need control of BOTH CPU and GPU roadmaps and this, of course, includes data centers", he wrote in a note Friday, referring to central processing units and graphic processing units. SoftBank has offloaded part of its stake in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding and a chunk of its holdings in wireless carrier T-Mobile US. The chip-design company could go public as soon as next year if SoftBank decides to proceed with that option, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The stock was little changed Friday in NY.