Following its takeover by Nvidia, British chip designer Arm Limited says it will keep 'firewalls' in place to prevent the American hardware giant from accessing confidential information about its customers, or getting early access to its products.
In an interview with Reuters, Rene Haas, President of Arm's IP Products Group, said the British company will take all necessary measures to ensure that the Nvidia ownership does not compromise Arm's relationship with its customers.
"We are going to keep the firewalls up between the two companies relative to confidentiality, and we're not going to give any early access to Nvidia," Haas said.
Haas did, however, accept that in some cases, Nvidia may need to receive a limited amount of information. For example, if major customers reveal plans to shift to a competitor like RISC-V, Nvidia will need to be told as it could affect the company's financial results.
Haas said that Arm and Nvidia are discussing how they can minimise access to such information.
Nvidia believes that its acquisition of Arm will help to expand its presence in AI and mobile computing. As part of the deal, Nvidia will pay Arm's current owner - Japanese conglomerate Soft Bank Group (SBG) - $12 billion in cash and $21.5 billion in Nvidia common stock.
Arm - which designs chips for a wide range of consumer products - will operate as a division of Nvidia, following the acquisition.
Nvidia began working more closely with Arm in 2019 to enable GPU-accelerated, ARM-based servers - a move that led to Nvidia's increased interest in the firm. The American company said at the time that its Arm-based reference design platform had also received support from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Marvell, Fujitsu, Cray and Ampere.
After acquiring Arm, Nvidia will be able to add new chip licensing designs to its portfolio of GPUs, robotics chips, edge computing and data centre networking hardware.
Analysts expect the Arm-Nvidia deal to significantly restructure the global semiconductor sector. Arm, which has acted as a neutral player in past years, currently supplies IP to several tech firms, including Apple, Qualcomm and others.
Nvidia says it will continue to support Arm's business model of openly licensing the company's technology throughout the chip industry. In statement to Reuters, Nvidia also said that it would ensure that "the confidential information of Arm's customers will be fully protected, just as it is today."
Infrastructure services unit to be spun off as a separate company
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020
A successful deal would enable ByteDance to avoid a ban on its popular video sharing app in the US
Oracle and Walmart will take a combined 20 per cent stake of a newly established company TikTok Global
Reports pour cold water on earlier stories that Oracle had been accepted as a buyer