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Failed Deal Costs NVIDIA ARM and a Leg | Gestalt IT Rundown: February 09, 2022

NVIDIA announced that they are finally dropping their plans to acquire chip maker ARM. The final nail in the coffin comes with a steep price tag, as ARM and SoftBank are entitled to keep up to $2 billion in fees paid at the outset of the deal.

EU Getting Chippy with Big Investment | 1:07
Not content to let the US take the lead in building new chip fabrication facilities, the EU announced this week that they are going to start ramping up production too. The European Chips Act is starting with an investment of eleven billion euros. The act is a series of measures that will serve to strengthen chip design and manufacturing as well as increasing the competitiveness in the global market for European competitors. The commissioners for the act want to see European companies on the cutting edge of development per reports. Stephen, is this a good way for the EU to build their own specialized space for chips?

Read more: EU directs €11bn toward European Chips Act to build homegrown semiconductor industry

FTC Replacement Program Costs Skyrocket | 5:59
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told Congress this week that the proposed plan to remove Chinese telecom equipment from US businesses was going to be a pricey endeavor. The Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program was passed to provide funding to businesses that were removing telecom equipment from Huawei and ZTE Corporation. The filing window for reimbursement was open from October 29, 2021 through January 28, 2022. Per the report, 181 applications were received at a total potential cost of $5.6 billion. Tom, why is this number so high compared to initial estimates?

Read more: FCC’s ‘rip and replace’ for ZTE and Huawei balloons to $5.6B

Microsoft Gets Serious About Macros (Finally) | 10:56
Everyone knows that automatically executing macros are bad, right? Well, everyone knew that except for Microsoft. In a stunning change of policy the application giant has finally decided to automatically disable execution of VBA macro scripts in their flagship Microsoft Office programs. This change is one that has been sought by security researchers for years as a way to stem the tide of malware that exploits Office features to execute and infect systems. Also changes was the behavior of MSI installer files that automatically execute manifest instructions without user intervention. This particular exploit was used by the Emotet malware framework to get on systems and be able to install more files that escape detection. Stephen, why did it take Microsoft so long to stop macros?

Read more: Microsoft to block internet macros by default in five Office applications

Cisco Gets Into Private 5G | 14:58
Private 5G is going to be the new hot space for wireless providers over the next few years. CIsco announced last week that they are getting into the private 5G space as well. Per the blog post linked in the show notes they are exploring ways to integrate private 5G radio networks with industrial IoT devices to help provide robust connectivity and unify IT and OT networks. As with many other private 5G offerings, Cisco is touting the ease-of-installation and pay-as-you-go models compared to traditional 5G infrastructure players. Tom, what do you make of Cisco’s push into the private space?

Read more: Private 5G Delivered on Your Terms

Failed Deal Costs NVIDIA ARM and a Leg | 20:17

NVIDIA announced that they are finally dropping their plans to acquire chip maker ARM. The final nail in the coffin comes with a steep price tag, as ARM and SoftBank are entitled to keep up to $2 billion in fees paid at the outset of the deal. NVIDIA cited strong negative reaction to the merger and has likely decided to cut their losses. We’ve covered a lot of this on the Rundown before but what we haven’t spent much time talking about is what happens to ARM now. SoftBank has quietly begun talking about a potential IPO to take the company public once more to recover much-needed cash. SoftBank has been adrift since the failed WeWork IPO and also faces potential exposure from other investments that are subject to future issues of regulation and potential failure. Stephen, is ARM going to find itself in a problematic situation now? Or will going public restore faith in their ability to manage their business?

Read more: NVIDIA and SoftBank Group Announce Termination of NVIDIA’s Acquisition of Arm Limited

The Week Ahead | 33:58
Cloud Field Day February 16-18
Mobile World Congress February 28-March 3
Storage Field Day March 9-11
Tech Field Day Exclusive with Cisco March 16-17

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About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at