Segars’ Weaselly Defence Of Nvidia Takeover

“Under our current owner, SoftBank, we have invested heavily in new chip technologies which allowed us to enter new markets such as 5G networks and cloud computing,” writes Segars.

Can anyone believe that Arm would not have developed 5G designs if it had remained independent? 

And Arm had been active in the cloud computing market with server CPU cores under Warren East – Segars’ predecessor as Arm CEO.

So Segars is being misleading in suggesting that Softbank’s ownership enabled Arm’s presence in these markets.

Segars goes on to say: “The initial investments came when SoftBank acquired Arm; it enabled us to build new technologies that expanded our reach into data centers, the automotive and networking industries, all while retaining our leadership in mobile.”

This could simply be saying that the investments enabled an expansion of Arm’s existing presence in networking, auto and data centre applications but it is worded in a weaselly way which could  convey the impression that Softbank’s investments enabled Arm’s participation in auto, networking and data centre markets – which is untrue.

Segars addresses the problem with the Nvidia deal – that it puts Arm’s same-for-all licensing model at risk – by saying: 

“We have built the value of our company through our open-licensing business model which ensures our customers around the world all have access to the same Arm technology.

This is an economic and commercial necessity for Arm’s business, and simple common sense. Arm and NVIDIA rely heavily on others throughout the industry so continuation of our open licensing model is not just the best option, it is the only one.”

So far so good but the concern among Arm customers is that Nvidia would be a privileged customer for Arm cores – getting early access to new Arm core development which would give Nvidia a commercial advantage over its competitors.

Segars totally fails to engage with that concern.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved” says Segars in his blog, but it was on his watch that the company got sold off abroad. When SoftBank came calling, Segars made no statements opposing the deal at a time when a robust opposition to it might have persuaded the UK government to stop it.

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