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challenge NVIDIA

Nvidia’s deal for Arm could mean a real challenge to Intel and AMD, but is likely to face opposition – MarketWatch

Nvidia Corp.’s bold $40 billion deal to buy chip designer Arm Holdings could create a major new threat to both Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in the data-center market, but the deal will face two major hurdles along the way.

Nvidia
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— best known for its graphics chips for gamers and servers — said Sunday it had reached an agreement with Softbank Group Corp.
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 to buy Arm Holdings Plc. in a deal valued at $40 billion, in a mix of cash, stock and potential future payouts. Softbank purchased the Cambridge, U.K.-based chip designer in 2017 for more than $32 billion, but has been under pressure by activist investor Elliott Management to sell off some assets, as its balance sheet and portfolio of tech holdings took a heavy hit after the collapse in value of WeWork, one of its big investments.

The deal could make Nvidia a strong direct competitor to Intel, which it passed in market value for the first time earlier this year, and AMD, the two leading developers of microprocessors for PCs and servers based on Intel’s x86 architecture. Up until now, Nvidia and its graphics chips have been complimentary to their microprocessor families, but competitive with their graphics chips. A push into microprocessors, with Nvidia’s ownership of Arm and its different RISC (reduced instruction set computing) architecture, could be the first real challenge to its Silicon Valley neighbors. But Nvidia may face challenges from both regulators and competitors-turned-customers to get there.

Eric Ross, an analyst at Cascend Securities, said in a note that if the deal goes through, “the company who should be the most worried in Intel,” because Nvidia will pick up a central processing unit (CPU) core for the data center, in addition to the inroads it has made with its graphics chips in that market.

“Additional creative designs incorporating the best of CPUs and GPUs into one processor could be advantageous,” he said, adding though that the deal with surely face hurdles from many government regulators — not just the U.S., but from China as well.

Beyond regulatory hurdles, Nvidia could face some outcry from Arm licensees, many of which are Nvidia competitors. Arm is a unique chip company because it only licenses its designs to a wide swath of companies, where they are mostly used in low-power-consuming devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearables.

Arm has over 500 licensees to its technology, and those licensees can tweak the designs and customize them for their own products and customers. Among the biggest Arm customers are Huawei Technologies, Qualcomm Inc.
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 , Apple Inc.
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 , Intel Corp.
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 and AMD
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MarketWatch reached out to several of the biggest Arm licensees for comments, but so far, only Intel responded, by saying it declined to comment.

Bernstein Research analyst Stacy Rasgon asked Nvidia executives for more details on how they would keep the open-licensee model in the companies’ conference call early Monday. Intimated, but not directly stated, in his question was the concern that some customers might not be comfortable with Arm being owned by a competitor.

“We would protect the confidentiality information of all of our customers the way we do today and the way that Arm does today,” Nvidia co-founder and Chief Executive Jensen Huang responded. “Neither of us really know what the customers are doing with our technology. And of course, we work with every company in the world, and so does Arm work with every computer company in the world. We keep everybody’s confidentiality protected.”

Rasgon said in a note to clients that if Nvidia can pull it off, “Nvidia’s dominance will be extended into virtually every important compute domain which has undeniable strategic value, giving the company the opportunity to potentially differentiate along that path through ownership in ways that they could not if they were simple licensees [of Arm].”

Evercore ISI Securities said Nvidia will help expand the Arm architecture even further in servers and into networking infrastructure and embedded artificial-intelligence markets, but the analysts remained concerned about regulatory approval.

Nvidia executives told analysts on a conference call that they expected regulatory approval to take about 18 months, which is longer than the average approval cycle. In response to a question about China, Huang said that the issue for export controls is not the ownership of Arm’s intellectual property, but the origin of the IP, which was created in the United Kingdom.

“The IP of Arm was originated, created, developed over three decades in Cambridge,” Huang said. “And so the amount of code, the amount of innovation is measured in thousands of human years. And so the IP will essentially stay in the U.K., the headquarters of Arm will be in the U.K.”

Even with that optimism, Rasgon noted that Arm’s licensees are likely to be “up in arms.”

“There would seem to be risk that Nvidia ownership will impair the current value of the asset,” he said.

Huang and Co. may be facing one of Nvidia’s toughest battles yet, but if they win over regulators and Arm customers, the company has a chance to be the new Chip King of Silicon Valley over a pair of longtime rivals.

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challenge TikTok

TikTok to challenge U.S. order banning transactions with the video app, sources say – CNBC

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

TikTok is preparing to mount a legal challenge as early as Monday to President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting transactions with the popular short video app and its Chinese parent ByteDance, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump issued an executive order on Aug. 14 that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok. ByteDance has been making progress in talks with potential acquirers, including Microsoft and Oracle. Some of ByteDance’s U.S. investors could also join the winning bid.

TikTok’s legal challenge pertains to an earlier executive order, which Trump issued on Aug. 6, the sources said. That order directed the Secretary of Commerce to come up with a list of transactions involving ByteDance and its holdings that should be banned after 45 days.

TikTok plans to argue that the Aug. 6 executive order’s reliance on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act deprives it of due process, according to the sources. TikTok will also contest its classification by the White House as a national security threat, the sources added.

It was not immediately clear which court TikTok plans to use to file its lawsuit. The company had previously said it was exploring its legal options, and its employees were also preparing their own lawsuit.

While TikTok is best known for its anodyne videos of people dancing and going viral among teenagers, U.S. officials have expressed concerns that information on users could be passed on to China’s communist government.

The sources requested anonymity ahead of the lawsuit’s filing. ByteDance declined to comment. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

TikTok’s legal challenge would not shield ByteDance from having to divest the app. This is because it does not pertain to the Aug. 14 order on the sale of TikTok, which is not subject to judicial review.

However, the move shows that ByteDance is seeking to deploy all the legal ammunition at its disposal as it tries to prevent the TikTok deal negotiations from turning into a fire sale.

The Trump administration has stepped up its efforts to purge what it deems “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks. Beyond TikTok, Trump has also issued an order that would prohibit transactions with Tencent Holding Ltd’s WeChat.

Trump has said he would support an effort by Microsoft to buy TikTok’s American operations if the U.S. government got a “substantial portion” of the proceeds, but has also said there are other interested potential buyers such as Oracle.

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challenge Trump

Trump vows challenge to Nevada bill expanding mail-in voting | TheHill – The Hill

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE on Monday vowed to challenge a bill approved Sunday by the Nevada legislature that would expand mail-in voting in the state for the November general election.

Trump accused Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), who is expected to sign the bill into law, of using the novel coronavirus to “steal” the election and make it “impossible” for Republicans to win in Nevada.

Nevada is one of the few states won by Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState polling problematic — again 4 reasons why Trump can’t be written off — yet ‘Unmasking’ Steele dossier source: Was confidentiality ever part of the deal? MORE in 2016 that the Trump campaign thinks could be competitive in 2020. Minnesota and New Hampshire are two other Trump targets.

“In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!”

The president’s tweet is part of a growing attack on expanded mail-in voting. Trump has threatened funding to states who are expanding access to mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming mail-in ballots are rife with fraud. Experts say there is no evidence, however, of meaningful election fraud associated with mail-in voting.

Trump last week floated the idea of delaying the election something he does not have the authority to do — as he continued to sow distrust in mail-in voting. The suggestion inspired widespread pushback from Republicans.   

The Nevada legislature on Sunday afternoon passed Assembly Bill 4, a measure that would guarantee that every active registered voter receives a mail-in ballot in order to vote in the November general election and future elections that are carried out under disaster or emergency declarations that apply to the whole state. Prior to the vote, Trump tweeted that the measure should be met with “immediate litigation.” Sisolak has not yet signed the legislation but is expected to do so.

Nevada is among several states that have moved to expand mail-in voting so that Americans can vote during the pandemic without having to go to the polls, where they could be at risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus, which has infected more than 4.6 million people and killed more than 154,000 in the United States.

Republicans have taken legal action in order to stop some of the efforts to expand mail-in voting. The Republican National Committee in May sued California to stop Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomFear first, education last? Coronavirus death toll passes 150,000 California officials eye 0 state unemployment benefit MORE (D) from sending mail-in ballots to all voters in the state, arguing that the order would violate eligible citizens’ right to vote and invite election fraud.

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challenge lunar

NASA ‘Lunar Loo’ challenge seeks new space toilet designs – Alabama’s News Leader

NASA ‘Lunar Loo’ challenge seeks new space toilet designs – Alabama’s News Leader
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