Semiconductor design company Arm is up for sale but contrary to reports from various industry watchers, Samsung has no intentions of becoming its owner, according to a report citing Objective Analysis analyst Jim Handy. Arm Ltd. is a SoftBank subsidiary and it's the largest and most influential chip designer in the world.
It would make sense at first glance for Samsung to be buying the company given its ambitions in the semiconductor segment. However, analyst Jim Handy claims that it's very unlikely for Arm to become a Samsung subsidiary because the merger and acquisition deal would cost the Korean tech giant more than $40 billion.
In addition, there's a key difference in philosophy between Samsung's way of conducting its semiconductor business and Arm's. The latter designs chips and microarchitectures but it's a fabless company. It doesn't manufacture chipsets but it generates its revenues from licencing intellectual properties (IPs) to other chipset manufacturers including Samsung.
In contrast, Samsung is using its IPs for in-house purposes – such as designing its own Mongoose (M) CPU cores – and these designs have not been offered under license to other chipmakers. Therefore, the acquisition of Arm would not only go against the company's usual business practices in the semiconductor segment, but the deal itself would cost Samsung a literal fortune. With that in mind, analyst Jim Handy believes that the Korean tech giant has no plans to acquire an IP licensing business like Arm.