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nVidia is looking at buying ARM

Discussion in 'Other CPUs and chipsets' started by RnR, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. RnR

    RnR Member

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    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Large...-could-see-Nvidia-acquiring-ARM.482695.0.html

    Could be very interesting if nVidia got hold of ARM. Now you would have 3 companies with both cpu's and gpu's offerings. Certainly nVidia could be the odd one out in the server compute market as Intel will increasing be seeking to get their clients to use Intel compute solutions as they mature rather than 3rd party.
     
  2. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Could potentially be a futureproof investment for them as ARM processor and chipsets mostly used in the mobile and smart device industry.
     
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I really hope it doesn't happen. ARM's independence from actual silicon slingers is a good thing.
     
  4. OP
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    RnR

    RnR Member

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    I think its a view to the future as well. ARM servers are increasingly being deployed in the cloud. This links well with their compute gpu prowess.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    RnR

    RnR Member

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    Seems like its all true. But potential problems are likely if nVidia does pick up the company.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...buy-softbank-s-chip-company-arm?sref=51oIW18F
     
  6. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Providing the Guarantee's as above occur, I don't think it makes much difference. With that in mind though , I'm not entirely sure why Nvidia is so interested?
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    HPC, ML/AI, cloud.

    These markets together push 1000 times as many CPUs, GPUs and IPUs as business servers, gamer PCs and consoles combined.

    Buying ARM and having existing general purpose CPU design skills in house, as well as an architecture that's already well established (existing tool chains, debuggers, libraries, operating systems, etc) is way easier than starting from scratch. And it means Nvidia can now sling entire top-to-toe solutions in the markets I mention above (don't forget they just bought Mellanox too, who are world leaders in high speed networking for compute clusters).

    If the question is "why do companies do things?", the answer is always "money".
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 4:07 AM
  8. OP
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    RnR

    RnR Member

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    I sorta asked myself again the same question this morning when I discussed the news with a mate. I used to think like elvis above ie just a good marriage with cpu and gpu techs.

    But if they wanted to marry cpu and gpu's, all it takes is a licence. If they have enough money to buy a fabless design company for $40+b, surely they have enough money to licence the tech and hire bodies. Amazon, Apple and others have done this for the HPC crowd. Heck nVidia even bought out a company that stacked dozens of ARM cpu's onto expansion cards, so they already have a licence.

    The only thing I can think of is 'revenue stream'. Especially now that Apple have committed themselves to an ARM future. nVidia can raise the fees down the road since there isn't effectively another cpu choice.

    But nVidia need to be very very careful. Amazon, Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung all have the means to design a new cpu from scratch (especially if they gang up and do a new one together). If any of them thinks that nvidia owning ARM will give nvidia too much of an insight into their own cpu strategy where they may be competing, they will be looking at options.

    Samsung is bundling Navi with ARM to push AMD tech into the mobile sphere on Samsung's 5nm process. nVidia would want to do something similar with its own gpu tech. Will Samsung and Qualcomm stand by while nVidia seeks to reduce their market share?
     
  9. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Well, they already have existing CPU design base from Denver and Carmel cores, in their Xavier socs which OK they were lacklustre in some ways , and they seem to have gone back to ARM designs for the next gen Tegra, that on its own doesn’t seem like a reason for a massive acquisition like this. If Nvidia wanted to bring their designs up to speed they’d just, well, do it .

    Must be a bit more to it
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 10:02 AM
  10. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    See post above , Throwing 40b at their existing , semi competitive in house designs is more logical . I saw their use of the A77 in the Orin SoC (instead of a carmel successor) as an indication they were either not interested in in house ARM anymore, Or as a placeholder for bigger and better core With further reaching uses such as the examples you guys mentiined (not the first time others have mixed and matched their own cores with ARM designs) , but certain not “oh they must be going to try and buy ARM” :lol:

    of course , I’m not suggesting I know better than them, hence why I feel there’s more to it
     
  11. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I genuinely don't think any of the companies you mention there can touch Nvidia in the product space they excel at.

    I'm no Nvidia can boy. In fact, I don't like them much at all from a business perspective. But the fact remains that every compute cluster I've touched on the last 15 years has produced more output on Nvidia hardware than every other vendor combined, just because of how far ahead of the tech curve they are.

    General purpose CPUs are dead, as far as high end compute goes. From here on they're only good for the OS and general house keeping.

    What Nvidia want is control. Being captain of their own ship, head to toe. What they don't want is

    They want to be boss dog. They want a 100% Nvidia box that contains 100% Nvidia hardware, from networking to compute to house keeping.

    They're also eyeballing off storage vendors to buy. Again, top to toe. They want it all.
     
  12. 192.168.0.1

    192.168.0.1 Member

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    Nvidia soon to become a real powerhouse if that deal goes through.
    • Cumulus Networks
    • Mellanox
    • ARM
    That will be impressive.
     
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  13. OP
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    RnR

    RnR Member

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    The big cloud vendors are all designing their own stuff though. Their volume of deployment is such that they are their own economies of scale. They don't have to buy off the shelf stuff.
     
  14. dragonFLAME

    dragonFLAME Member

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    that's what stopped the AMD-NVIDIA merger, Nvidia said yes to the deal as long as he could be CEO of new AMD/Nvidia. AMD said no.
     
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  15. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And yet all of them are putting Nvidia GPUs in because nobody else is close.

    Again, I'm no Nvidia fan, but until the Cloudy McCloudFaces have real silicon I can run real workloads on faster than Nvidia's stuff, everything else is bullshit. And they've all got a big hill to climb, while Nvidia have been doing it for decades.

    And who knows... Maybe Nvidia will announce their own cloud platform soon? Wouldn't that be a cat amongst the pigeons?
     
  16. OP
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    RnR

    RnR Member

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    Sure, but why would they put in an nVidia ARM cpu? Unless they do this, then I just don't see the point, unless it purely as another revenue stream.

    I don't think they will try to get into their own cloud platform. Unless they will be an exclusive AI platform. But even that is being subsumed by the cloud providers. Google has their own tensor processing unit in their stack, which they are now offering as off the shelf hardware - https://coral.ai/
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    They wouldn't.

    They'd use ARM as the OS babysitter, and push all the real compute to Nvidia.

    And they'd charge for "NVbox" where they owned the whole thing top to toe. Maybe even on NVcloud.
     
  18. 192.168.0.1

    192.168.0.1 Member

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    Exactly, they're not here to compete with Intel or Apple. They're they're trying to find all the pieces they need to build an infrastructure for AI/ML and massive compute. Either it's a cloud or a solution they can sell to customers (in-a-box). There will be impacts to the market indirectly though as a lot of networking vendors are using ARM as low powered processors for various functions (linecards, NAS, etc).

    Either-way, it's interesting times seeing all these companies consolidating.
     
  19. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Still doesn't make sense. They can do this anyway , without acquiring ARM.

    I personally have a feeling this is far more about the Licencing control side of things anything to do with actual products. And potentially not in a good way, I'm talking Arm V9 and beyond here of course, but once Nvidia control the terms.. As you said, ARM being indepenant of these companies has been a good thing.
     
  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Sure, and I wouldn't argue against that.

    All I'm saying is don't underestimate Jensen Huang's ego and need to control things.
     

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