Intel ChipSource: 60 Minutes

What you need to know

  • A new report claims Intel is interested in paying over $2 billion to acquire SiFive Inc.
  • The acquisition would serve as Intel's response to NVIDIA's Arm purchase.
  • It would be the latest billion-dollar-tier investment from Intel in a recent string of them.

If you thought Intel was done spending money after it announced its $20 billion fab creation plan and various billion-dollar upgrades to its existing fabs, think again. A new report says the tech company is opening up its war chest once more to acquire a competitor to Arm.

The company being eyeballed by Intel is SiFive Inc., which was valued at roughly $500 million back in 2020, according to PitchBook. That valuation means little if Bloomberg's report is on the money — the money being, in this case, the rumored $2-billion-plus Intel offered SiFive.

As of this time, no deal has been struck, and neither SiFive nor Intel provided comments to Bloomberg. However, it's worth noting that neither company commenting is different than either company denying the deal's existence outright.

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Though a company spending over $2 billion isn't unimpressive, remember that the company SiFive would be competing with, Arm, earned NVIDIA's favor to the tune of $40 billion. Multiple governments around the world are investigating that acquisition, though NVIDIA's CEO Jensen Huang doesn't seem worried — at least, not publicly. Regulators are concerned that NVIDIA and Arm would make for a heck of a power couple, resulting in Arm shedding its manufacturer neutrality to adopt an NVIDIA-focused approach.

What an eventual Intel-SiFive and NVIDIA-Arm faceoff would look like remains uncertain, though what is clear is that in the event Bloomberg's report ends up being accurate, we won't have to wait long to see the rivalry's results.