Arm promises to play fair under Nvidia ownership

by James Titcomb

March 14, 2021

ARM is signing longer contracts with its customers and committing not to give its new owner special treatment as the British microchip company attempts to smooth over concerns about its $40bn (£29bn) sale to US giant Nvidia.

Simon Segars, Arm’s chief executive, said customers had been requesting commitments in contracts with the company since Nvidia announced it planned to buy Arm from Japan’s SoftBank six months ago.

Nvidia has committed to protecting Arm’s open licensing system, in which the company offers equal access to its technology to hundreds of customers, but opponents of the deal including Arm customers have said they are concerned that it would mean Nvidia gaining favoured access.

“We’re looking at long-term agreements because they [customers] are so dependent on what we’re doing, and we recognise that,” Mr Segars said. “We want to get this right and structure these agreements correctly. We don’t favour one person over anybody else.”

Arm provides the underlying architecture for tens of billions of chips produced a year in smartphones and other low-powered devices as well as increasing numbers of PCs and servers.

Regulators in the US, UK, China and the EU are all believed to be scrutinising the deal, which could take another year to pass competition inquiries.