U.S. chip manufacturer Qualcomm has offered to invest in UK chip designer Arm if the company's $40 billion acquisition by U.S. counterpart Nvidia is blocked by regulators, said Qualcomm's incoming CEO Cristiano Amon, The Telegraph reported Sunday.
Nvidia has been approaching the deal to buy Arm since September last year, setting to reshape the global semiconductor landscape. The UK government began a "phase one" investigation over the deal since April citing competition and national security concerns.
Qualcomm would be willing to buy a stake in Arm alongside other industry investors if SoftBank listed the company on the stock market instead of selling it to Nvidia, Amon said.
"If Arm has an independent future, I think you will find there is a lot of interest from a lot of the companies within the ecosystem, including Qualcomm, to invest in Arm," Amon said.
"If it moves out of SoftBank and it goes into a process of becoming a publicly-traded company, [with] a consortium of companies that invest, including many of its customers, I think those are great possibilities," he added.
The CEO said Qualcomm would "definitely be open to it" and that the company has "had discussions with other companies that feel the same way," The Telegraph reported.
Nasdaq-listed Nvidia is known for being strong in graphics chips powering video games. The company also expanded to other markets including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and data centers.
Instead of manufacturing chips itself, Arm licenses chip design technology for almost all mobile devices but is also engaging in processors for cars, data center services and other devices.
The British company does not make chips. Instead, it licenses out the underlying technology so others can make chips with it. It has previously collaborated with Nvidia.
Arm was spun out of an early computing company called Acorn Computers in 1990. SoftBank acquired Arm for $32 billion in 2016, its largest-ever purchase.