Qualcomm bought ‘the best CPU team on the market’, now Arm is suing

Arm is suing Qualcomm and Nuvia, a startup that the chipmaker acquired in 2021, alleging that they violated the licenses required to use Arm’s processor designs and architectures. Reuters). Arm’s argument is that the license he gave Nuvia before Nuvia was acquired is no longer valid now that Nuvia is the new owner. If Arm wins the lawsuit, Qualcomm could be forced to abandon all work it has done on the particular license in question. This is a significant setback to the company’s ambition to use Nuvia’s technology to create desktop and server chips.

Qualcomm hasn’t kept quiet about its goals or the role the Nuvia acquisition will play in it. Earlier this year, the company’s CEO, Cristiano Amon, said: The Barge: “As soon as I was appointed CEO, I bought a company called Nuvia because I wanted to have the best CPU team on the market.” we need to do that our first product was supposed to be out in samples next year it’s going to be commercialized in 2023 we’re open about it and people are We will be able to measure it.”

According to Arm’s complaint, which you can read in full below, in 2019 it gave Nuvia a license to use “off-the-shelf” processor designs and a license to build its own designs using Arm’s architecture. significant and personalized support for the work to develop server-grade processors”. Arm will receive licensing fees as well as royalties from products sold using the company’s technology, including his Nvida computing devices powered by Arm chips and his MacBooks and iPhones using Apple Silicon. I am making a profit. (Nuvia was founded by an engineer who was involved in the development of the A-series his chips found in iPhones and iPads).

The problem seems to have started when Qualcomm acquired Nuvia for $1.4 billion. Arm told Qualcomm that he could not use Nuvia’s license without Arm’s approval, according to the complaint. Arm’s lawyers claim he spent “more than a year” negotiating to get Qualcomm to use Nuvia’s license.

These efforts apparently failed — Arm terminated its license in February 2022 and told Qualcomm it could not use designs made with them. I suspect it continues to design chips and plans to sell them.

In a statement to The Barge, Qualcomm general counsel Anne Chaplin said, “Arm has no right, contractually or otherwise, to seek to interfere with Qualcomm’s or NUVIA’s innovations.” She continued, “Arm’s complaint ignores the fact that Qualcomm has well-established licensing rights covering custom-designed CPUs, and we are confident that those rights will be confirmed. increase.”

There are reports that Qualcomm is pitching server processors to companies like Amazon. Although the company has its own Arm license unrelated to his Nuvia (it built laptop chips before buying the company), bloomberg said earlier this month that the company is “looking for customers for products that stem from last year’s acquisition of semiconductor startup Nuvia,” among others.

Here is the full complaint filed by Arm:

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