With its recent acquisition of ARM, NVIDIA may soon hop into the CPU market segment with its own processors based on a custom ARM-based architecture. The information was hinted in an interview with NVIDIA's CEO, Jensen Huang, by Timothy Prickett Morgan of The Next Platform in which Jensen highlighted what the future holds with ARM residing with the green team.
NVIDIA CEO Teases Its Own CPUs In The Foreseeable Future, A Future With All Three Giants In The CPU Segment?
The interview has some interesting key points with the most important one being what NVIDIA is planning to do with its ARM branch. According to Jensen, the acquisition of ARM opens up a lot of doors for NVIDIA to explorer.
“Will you actually take an implementation of something like Neoverse first and make an Nvidia-branded CPU to drive it into the data center? Will you actually make the reference chip for those who just want it and actually help them run it?”
- Timothy Prickett Morgan (The Next Platform)
“Well, the first of all you’ve made an amazing observation, which is all three options are possible. So now with our backing and Arm’s serious backing, the world can stand on that foundation and realize that they can build server CPUs. Now, some people would like to license the cores and build a CPU themselves. Some people may decide to license the cores and ask us to build those CPUs or modify ours.”
“It is not possible for one company to build every single version of them,” Huang continued, “but we will have the entire network of partners around Arm that can take the architectures we come up with and depending on what’s best for them, whether licensing the core, having a semi-custom chip made, or having a chip that we made, any of those any of those options are available. Any of those options are available, we’re open for business and we would like the ecosystem to be as rich as possible, with as many options as possible.”
- Jensen Huang (NVIDIA CEO) via Tom's Hardware
As per the interview, Jensen states that they are not only open for custom orders but also for CPUs developed solely by them. It is clearly stated that datacenter seems to be the first market that NVIDIA would like to tackle. NVIDIA will also develop its own ecosystem around the CPUs whether it be for datacenter applications or more consumer-oriented platforms. With that said, this also opens up the possibility of a future lineup dedicated towards the consumer segment where Intel & AMD have dominated for several decades.
NVIDIA has already leveraged custom-designed ARM CPUs in several applications which include data center, AI, automobile, and robotics which work in tandem with their GPU IPs. There's also the matter of ARM's own Neoverse roadmap which has several products currently in the pipeline so that would also be streamlined with NVIDIA's own efforts in the ARM CPU segment.
These are definitely exciting times but don't expect any NVIDIA CPU for the time being. There are roadmaps to be formulated and chips to be designed before NVIDIA could make a formal entry in to the segment. But we will keep you posted for any new developments regarding NVIDIA & ARM's future adventures.