Qualcomm buys Nuvia for $ 1400 billion

Qualcomm and Nuvia: logos

Large corporations are growing more and more absorbing other smaller companies or startups. Purchases are becoming more and more frequent, each time there are giants that grow in size thanks to these purchases, fewer and fewer players on the field of play. The last episode, for the moment, has been the purchase you have made Qualcomm.

The chip giant has gone shopping to add "to cart" to the Nuvia startup. When "going through the box" the movement has gone by about 1400 million dollars. A price that is well worth it considering that Nuvia has experience with high performance ARM chips and that it will help you improve your Snapdragon.

After the episode of the cPurchase of Arm by NVIDIA, now comes this other movement that it is not free of controversy either...

Introduction

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G

The giant Qualcomm surprised everyone with the news of this multi-million dollar purchase of the young company Nuvia. The amount paid by the American giant has been 1400 million, a price that is worth them to stay with Nuvia employees and also with their technology. Something that will underpin future developments of the Snapdragon SoCs.

A very important sum of money that draws attention when compared with other figures for other purchases, since Nuvia is a company founded in 2019, but despite its size and youth, it has a gran "heritage" of patents, technologies, and engineers that Qualcomm finds interesting.

It is not the first purchase that Qualcomm makes, it has already made in the past other purchases very valuable, such as AMD's division of graphics and multimedia chips for mobile devices (ATI Imageon) and that served as the basis for powerful Adreno GPUs that it now integrates into its SoCs.

Well, although some media suggest that it will simply serve to improve the Snapdragon for mobile phones, the truth is that Nuvia does not compete in that field, but is focused on chips for HPC, that is, for data centers. The Nuvia Phoenix chips They are specially designed to offer great performance and efficiency for servers.

Then? Well, maybe they could help in the mobile section and they certainly will. But we are also seeing that Qualcomm has its sights set on other sectors such as PCs and HPC. In that case, Nuvia would be a great option to help you with the high-performance Arm-based chips.

However, Qualcomm has commented that one of the main reasons for the acquisition is 5G technology. It also cited potential performance improvements to its SoC-integrated CPUs and energy efficiency to meet the needs of next-generation 5G computing.

And don't forget that Nuvia has experience in creating microarchitectures based on the ISA ARM, without using Arm's IP cores, that is, like what Apple is doing, among others, with its Apple Silicon. That would give Qualcomm greater independence to develop future cores for its Snapdragon, especially considering that Arm has been bought by NVIDIA, one of Qualcomm's competitors ...

Remember Qualcomm uses Krait and Kryo cores for its Snapdragon, which are nothing more than semi-custom versions of the Arm Cortex A-Series cores, which does not directly separate them from the IP cores. Are they thinking of developing their own microarchitecture based on ISA ARM so as not to depend on IP cores? Well, time will tell ...

About Nuvia

Nuvia Phoenix Arm HPC chip

As for this "strange" company called Nuvia, the truth is that they made the news with their attempts to conquer the cloud with their high-performance ISA ARM-based chips, such as the Nuvia phoenix. Furthermore, its founders are not complete strangers ...

Nuvia was founded by three ex-Apple workers and who participated in the design of the A-Series chips of the Cupertino brand. Their names are John Bruno, Gerard Williams, and Manu Gulati. In addition to these names, other great acquaintances of the Linux world were also involved, such as Jon Masters (Red Hat), one of the main defenders of ARM chips for high performance.

Manu Gulati and John Bruno also have a lot of experience outside of Apple, such as their work for Google. There they were part of an important chip and hardware design and development team of the company. With all that experience they came to Nuvia with the intention of revolutionizing the cloud industry with the impressive performance / energy efficiency ratio of these designs.

The result was the Phoenix, a chip with cores of similar size and consumption to those of mobile devices, but with a very high performance. All thanks to polishing your own microarchitecture capable of implementing the ARM instruction set, but without using Arm-licensed kernels.

Disputes

Apple threat

Finally, not all are positive things in this purchase. It also comes as the odd one controversy. And it is that Apple and Qualcomm have been involved in a legal battle of titans for some accusations between both companies for some patents and technologies.

But, in parallel, Nuvia has also had its legal background against Apple. Gerard williams, the CEO and founder of Nuvia and former Apple, has a dispute with his former company. The one in Cupertino accuses him of recruiting fellow Apple team members while they were still working for Apple.

We will see how all this is resolved in court, especially considering that now Nuvia is no longer a startup to become part of the gigantic Qualcomm, a problem for apple of dimensions far superior to what Nuvia knew at the time ...


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  1.   Charly said

    LVL5: They bought the competition before I ruined them and she dropped her pants