In September 2020, Nvidia announced the purchase of Arm from SoftBank with $40 billion in cash and stock, but with questions and opposition from all parties and stricter scrutiny by relevant regulators, the two parties terminated the deal in early February this year. Then SoftBank announced that it was preparing to list Arm in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, which would be the largest IPO in the semiconductor industry.
Although NVIDIA’s acquisition was unsuccessful, there is more than one company with the same idea. After all, Arm is one of the hottest CPU architectures, and its applications cover important fields such as clients, supercomputers, cloud services, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Somewhat surprisingly, SK Hynix said
at its recent annual shareholder meeting that it is reviewing whether it should form a consortium with strategic partners to acquire Arm, although the plan is still in its infancy.
In SK Hynix’s view, their plans are not the same as Nvidia’s. SK Hynix CEO Park Jung-ho said it is not necessary to buy most of its shares to control the company. This means that even if SoftBank makes Arm listed, SK Hynix will try to control Arm in other ways. It seems to be a wiser choice to form a consortium with other partners. In fact, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that if a consortium intends to acquire Arm, it is very willing to participate in some way.
SK Hynix is the world’s second-largest memory chip maker, with a sizable market share in both DRAM and NAND flash. If it can invest in Arm, it will expand its business scope and play a more important role in the global semiconductor industry and supply chain.