Nvidia can pay SoftBank $21.5 billion in shares and $12 billion in cash, including $2 billion on signing. The deal will see SoftBank and therefore the $100 billion Vision Fund, which features a 25 percent stake in Arm, take a stake in Nvidia of between 6.7%and 8.1%.

The sale marks an early exit for SoftBank, four years after the $32 billion acquisition of British chip technology firm. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has lionised the potential of Arm but is slashing his stakes in major assets to boost cash.

The Arm acquisition will put Nvidia into even more intense competition with rivals within the data center chip market like Intel and Advanced Micro Devices because Arm has been developing technology to compete with their chips.

Arm won’t become subject to US export controls under the deal, Huang said. The acquisition is probably going to return under close scrutiny in China, where thousands of companies from Huawei to small startups use Arm technology.

Nvidia said it will licence its flagship graphical processor unit through Arm’s network of silicon partners. It will build chips for devices like self-driving cars but also make its technology available for others.

The companies didn’t discuss the affect British government until shortly before the announcement because the talks were secret, Huang said. A replacement AI research facility are going to be built at Arm’s Cambridge headquarters.


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