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NVIDIA CEO mulls boosting smartphone GPUs following Arm deal

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti (Image credit: NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA has started the process of acquiring Arm Limited.
  • The deal could potentially see NVIDIA technology utilized in smartphones.
  • The deal could take a year or more to complete.

NVIDIA is acquiring SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG)'s share of Arm Limited in a deal valued at $40 billion. The deal likely shakes the landscape of the semiconductor industry and could have an impact on a wide range of industries. While the deal will likely have a large impact on how NVIDIA works with PC manufacturers, it could also have an impact on smartphones.

During a conference call on Monday, September 14, NVIDIA chief executive, Jensen Huang, discussed NVIDIA's acquisition of Arm. While a focus of the call was how NVIDIA could leverage Arm's network to work with manufacturers, Huang left the door open for NVIDIA GPU technology being used in smartphones in the future.

PCWorld speculates that the deal could mean that the Arm-dominated smartphone market could see an influx of NVIDIA technology. For example, NVIDIA could potentially utilize some of its GPU technology within smartphones.

"SOCs [system-on-chips] really don't have the benefit of the amazing GPUs that we make, and Nvidia is well known around the world for the energy efficiency and advanced capabilities of our GPUs," said Huang at one point. Huang also discussed Mali core technology, which is currently in ARM CPUs. If NVIDIA decided to go in the direction of smartphones, it could potentially use its tech in place of Mali core.

If SOCs were able to utilize NVIDIA GPUs, it could also potentially boost Windows 10 on ARM PCs.

Any specific regarding how NVIDIA would work with smartphones is purely speculation at this point. The deal involving NVIDIA and Arm Limited is large and could take over a year to go through, assuming that it's approved at some point.

Huang stated on the call that the deal could take a year or more to complete. During that time, the companies will operate independently, as required by law.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

1 Comment
  • This is a smoke screen and they know it. Nothing has stopped Nvidia from leveraging their GPU knowledge into their Tegra (ARM) SoCs. They just weren't power efficient compared to Mediatek's or Qualcomm's offerings. Nvidia could if they wanted put money into pursuing the Mobile market but they chose not to do so after the poor adoption of Tegra. Therefore, this is extremely disingenuous from Nvidia.
    Nvidia went from ARM because this is the perfect storm. it's the combination of Intels screw ups, AMD's radeon group past struggles to compete in the GPU space combined with extremely high demand of pc components due to Covid-19 with slow supply. With Nvidia's price hikes and persistence in creating nonsensical GPU skus across as many price points as possible thrown for good measure. Nevertheless a statement like this was expected from Nvidia as all companies engage in spinning acquisitions positively. What we need now is the techsphere to keep Nvidia under a microscope indefinitely.