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Arm创始人:英伟达新处理器表明,他们会与客户不公平竞争

分享于 2021-05-05 14:59:34
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英国半导体公司Arm的先驱之一声称,如果允许收购Arm,英伟达已经“清楚地表明它将与其他竞争对手竞争”。


Arm的前身公司Acorn的创始人Hermann Hauser认为,美国庞然大物Nvidia在宣布计划将其技术与Arm的技术相结合的微芯片后,已经准备采取“反竞争的方式”行事。

英国竞争监管机构竞争与市场管理局(CMA)已根据数字秘书奥利弗·道登(Oliver Dowden)的命令,出于国家安全的原因,对该交易进行了调查。

CMA在7月底发表调查结果时,出于公众利益或竞争方面的考虑,道顿先生将不得不决定是阻止交易还是对企业的围栏部分进行限制。

Hauser先生是英国芯片技术的“教父”,他说,他对英伟达(Nvidia)上月推出的,基于Arm的新型服务器芯片的举动感到担忧。

他说,Nvidia提议的是“其Arm服务器芯片Grace及其图形处理单元之间的专有接口”,这冒着“将客户锁定在其产品中”的风险。

他补充说,此举“清楚地表明,它们将与其他基于Arm的服务器公司,如亚马逊和富士通展开不公平的竞争”。

在Hauser的评论之际,英伟达(Nvidia)竞争对手对该交易的忧虑日益加剧,因为这将使美国芯片制造商吞并Arm,而这是用于数十亿部智能手机的处理器的设计者。

Arm / Nvidia交易时间轴(新)


包括高通和Graphcore在内的公司已写信给监管机构,敦促它们阻止收购。Hauser先生的风险投资公司Amadeus Capital Partners是Graphcore的股东。

去年,他在《星期日电讯报》(The Sunday Telegraph)中写道,政府应该与Graphcore进行合并,而不是让Nvidia接管。

英伟达(Nvidia)驳斥了这一说法,称Hauser先生“不了解Grace会做什么或对Arm的好处”。

他说,Grace将专注于高性能计算和人工智能,并将与包括Graphcore在内的每个数据中心供应商的芯片配合使用。

一位发言人说:“在我们同意收购Arm之前,我们一直在使用现成的Arm技术对Grace进行开发,该技术适用于所有Arm许可证持有者。”

Arm的发言人补充说,Nvidia的收购“具有竞争优势,将为PC和数据中心市场的客户提供更多选择”,而Arm对其Grace中央处理单元“未给予Nvidia任何优先使用权,这将使Nvidia拥有更多优惠”。基于我们的任何合作伙伴都可以使用的Arm知识产权”。

Arm曾经被视为英国科技行业的皇冠上的明珠,但在2016年被日本企业集团SoftBank收购。

一些依赖公平获取Arm设计的Nvidia竞争对手担心,这家美国公司的收购将损害他们的业务,并阻止Arm成为半导体的“瑞士”。

Arm创始人:被英伟达收购,将是一场灾难


就在英伟达于上周日官宣,同意以高达400亿美元的交易金额收购软银旗下的芯片设计巨头ARM之后,这个世界芯片领域史上最大规模的一笔交易已经招致了反对声音。

ARM联合创始人Hermann Hauser 9月14日周一接受媒体采访时表示,如果美国公司英伟达收购ARM,那么这笔交易对于剑桥、英国乃至欧洲都是一个完完全全的灾难,对于整个行业也将是个灾难性事件。

一方面,收购完成后ARM在英国的就业机会可能会消失。

Hauser表示,如果英伟达“不可避免地”决定将ARM总部迁至美国,那么这意味着在英国剑桥、曼彻斯特、贝尔法斯特、华威的数千名ARM员工可能会失去工作。

英伟达在周日的声明中曾表示,收购后ARM将保留在剑桥的总部,并且将在英国创造更多工作机会。但是对于这种说法,Hauser并不认为有什么说服力,他认为除非这些承诺具有与法律效力,否则毫无意义。

另一方面,英伟达将摧毁ARM的商业模式。

ARM的总部位于英国剑桥,被认为是英国科技行业皇冠上的明珠,它的芯片在全球大多数的智能手机及其他设备中十分普及。

Hauser表示,ARM的商业模式涉及芯片设计授权给其他约500家公司,其中就包括那些与英伟达直接形成竞争关系的公司,这意味着这份收购协议将造成行业垄断。

更为重要的是,这是国家经济主权的问题。如果ARM成为一家美国公司,那么将受到美国外国投资委员会(CFIUS)的监管。因此他敦促英国政府介入,阻止该交易,并帮助ARM在伦敦证券交易所上市。

为了更明确地阐述自己的想法,Hermann Hauser还向英国首相约翰逊写了一封公开信并发布在savearm(救救ARM)网站上。

信中,他解释了出售ARM在工作机会、商业模式以及国家经济主权三方面的问题,并表示只有满足三个有法律保障的条件才能完成这笔交易,包括保障英国的工作、英伟达不得享有比其他Arm客户更优惠的待遇。以及英国必须获得美国OFAC监管的豁免。

以下为公开信全文(英文原文)

Dear Prime Minister, 

As one of the founders of Arm I am extremely concerned about the proposed sale of Arm to Nvidia. This concern is shared by many of my colleagues in Cambridge, the UK financial and electronics industry who are all co-signing this letter. 

Firstly, we are concerned about the impact on jobs in Cambridge, Manchester, Belfast, Glasgow, Sheffield and Warwick where thousands of Arm employees work. When the headquarters move to the US this will inevitably lead to the loss of jobs and influence in the UK as we have seen with the Cadbury takeover by Kraft. 

Secondly, the sale of Arm to Nvidia will destroy the very basis of Arm’s business model which is to be the Switzerland of the semiconductor industry dealing in an even-handed way with its over 500 licensees. Most of them are Nvidia’s competitors. Among them are many UK companies. Assurances to the contrary should be legally binding. 

Thirdly, and most importantly for the long term, it is an issue of national economic sovereignty: Arm is the only remaining UK technology company, with a dominant position in mobile phone microprocessors. It has a market share of over 95%. The UK has suffered from American technology dominance by companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Apple and others. 

As the American president has weaponised technology dominance in his trade war with China, the UK will become collateral damage unless it has its own trade weapons to bargain with. Arm powers the smartphones of Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and practically every other brand in the world and therefore can exert influence on all of them. A sale to Nvidia will mean that Arm becomes subject to the US OFAC regulations.

There are hundreds of companies in the UK electronics industry employing tens of thousands of people who use ARMs in their products. Many of them export to major global markets including China. They will all have to comply with the US OFAC regulations. 

This puts Britain in the invidious position that the decision about who Arm is allowed to sell to will be made in the White House and not in Downing Street. Sovereignty used to be mainly a geographic issue, but now economic sovereignty is equally important. Surrendering UK’s most powerful trade weapon to the US is making Britain a US vassal state. 

There are three conditions that are imperative for this deal to be allowed to go through. They all have to be legally binding or they are useless: Legally binding job guarantees for Arm employees in the UK Legally binding agreement that Nvidia must not gain any preferential treatment over other Arm licensees. Britain must get an exemption from the US OFAC regulation so that UK companies are guaranteed unfettered access to our own microprocessor technology. 

The natural alternative to an Arm sale to Nvidia is to take Arm public on the London Stock Exchange and make it a British owned company again with a Golden Share for national economic security. As you have spent 500m to help OneWeb out of Chapter 11, which arguably is not as important to Britain as Arm, you could spend 1-2bn as the anchor investor for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange and get a Golden Share for it so that this problem cannot happen again. 

An IPO was always the declared route to liquidity for Softbank. If you do not make Arm a British owned company again with a Golden Share for national economic security, history will remember you as the person who, when the chips are down, failed to act in the national interest. 

Yours sincerely 
Dr Hermann Hauser FRS, KBE


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