Qualcomm says Arm wants to change its business model

Article reported by record Accordingly an armthe English company that designs the architectures for most CPUs, GPUs, and neural processing units found today in smartphones, tablets, wearables, and increasingly computers, you might consider Totally upset the market By stopping licensing of chip makers, with the aim of targeting device manufacturers directly. They will then be required to pay a fee for each ARM chip device sold.

Before continuing, a clarification to avoid confusion with the names: with ARM, by capitalization we mean the CPU architecture type, or Advanced RISC Machine; By Arm we mean the name of the company, which is naturally derived from architecture, but for some reason it was wise to give it the same name.

It is easy to imagine how such a move would profoundly change the balance of the sector; However, It is difficult to say how much truth there is and what practical consequences it can have. In the meantime, it is necessary to analyze the source: record It was able to trace the charge back to Qualcomm, as part of a judicial process that sees the two companies squabble over Qualcomm’s acquisition of NUVIA. Arm basically believes that Qualcomm cannot use NUVIA-designed ARM chips without its permission, and has lodged a complaint about that. The catch is that the designs NUVIA has developed to date were born from intellectual property obtained under license from Arm.

The document, available for consultation by following the SOURCE link at the bottom of the article, is usually very long and complex, but it is point 253 on page 78 that becomes interesting in relation to the topic covered in this article. In practice, A change of business model seems certain now: In fact, Qualcomm simply rejects Arm’s statement that Arm had already warned Qualcomm of its intentions. Practically speaking, it’s not that Qualcomm accuses Arm of wanting to change the business model and denies it: both companies agree (or at least seem to agree) on this point, but disagree about who warned whom.

questioned for clarification on this matter, Arm only said that Qualcomm’s statement was “full of inaccurate information”. Which he will explain in more detail in his counter-statement, which is currently being prepared. Therefore, it has neither admitted nor denied its intention to communicate directly with device manufacturers. But for Qualcomm, the process is already underway. The US chip maker claims to be aware of at least one hardware manufacturer that Arm has contacted to inform it of the new terms.

If manufacturers do not agree to pay royalties, they will no longer be able to install ARM-compatible chips on their devices after existing agreements are terminated.which will expire in Qualcomm’s case in 2025 (this point is also moot: Qualcomm says it has the right, under its contract with Arm, to extend these agreements “for several years”).

The situation is potentially more dire: again according to Qualcomm, Arm will also block the execution of “custom” items., such as GPU, NPU, etc., forcing all manufacturers to use only their stock designs. As we know, the market is full of cases of this type: there are for example Qualcomm’s custom Adreno GPUs, Qualcomm’s custom Kryo CPU cores, Samsung has just started implementing the best-in-class AMD RDNA GPUs in Exynos, Google is using The NPU is dedicated in its own Tensor chips. In fact, MediaTek is the only one that subserviently implements Arm designs – at least in terms of the more popular market segment.

Arm sues Qualcomm: You can't use Nuvia licenses without our permission

economy and market
September 02

So far everything is (somewhat) clear, but What are the effects For the semiconductor industry – thus practical The entire world of consumer electronics? Here, unfortunately, at this point we stumble here. At the moment, there is not enough information to concretely understand what could be happening in the industry. To say: What do the respective producers think? What role will chip makers like Qualcomm and MediaTek play in the future? Further: are we really sure that the truth is as certain as Qualcomm envisioned it, and that it is not a set of tactics and counter-tactics that the two companies have put in place to win in the current operation?

In short, open questions are many, and it is important to remember that Arm has been in a rather difficult situation for several years now. Softbank, the Japanese giant it currently owns, wants to sell, and NVIDIA has tried to acquire: the deal lasted for more than a year, and eventually collapsed – apparently (at least, they think). Arm and NVIDIA ) also due to statements by Qualcomm, which persuaded many antitrust authorities (particularly the English) to veto it.

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