Saturday, July 20, 2024

ARM has called for the destruction of all Snapdragon


What will happen to computers with Snapdragon Regardless of whether Qualcomm’s new computing solution is successful or not, the court will decide its fate. The story is well known: ARM asked Qualcomm to cancel every Snapdragon-related project Qualcomm has filed a counter-complaint targeting ARM While ARM,c requested the destruction of all computers containing Snapdragon X Elite processors.

Let’s briefly retrace the stages and see why it came to this: Nuvia, a startup made up of former Apple engineers, bought an ARM license in 2019 to develop a kernel designed for data centers. This license gave Nuvia permission to develop its core using the ARM instruction set, as well as a variety of testing and support tools from ARM itself.

Qualcomm acquired Nuvia, and decided to use the core designed by Nuvia to create the Snapdragon X Elite now, and in the future to include it in all of its products, from smartphones to wearables. According to Qualcomm, after acquiring Nuvia and owning the ARM license (the San Diego company is ARM’s second-best customer), All Nuvia projects can be transferred to it without any problemwhile according to ARM no, Qualcomm’s pre-existing license had to be renegotiated and was not transferable at all.

Not only that: the licensing terms accepted by Nuvia were made easier by being a startup, and Nuvia transferred projects and licensing to Qualcomm It allegedly violated these terms, to the point that ARM had to revoke the license. With the license revoked, the “Oryon core” developed under this license becomes an illegal product and must be destroyed.

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This issue, which the court must now decide, has many aspects. Qualcomm has always been one of ARM’s best customers and in recent years has purchased the final designs for its processors from ARM: Qualcomm once made its own Krait cores, and now it uses ARM’s Cortex. Qualcomm has always paid a lot of money to ARM to finalize designsBut now thanks to Oryon, which will end up in every Qualcomm product, The San Diego company will no longer need Cortex.

This is a problem for ARM. Qualcomm wants to pay only for an ALA license, which is the license that allows it to use the instruction set exclusively, but ARM is asking us to move to a new business model that involves paying a license fee for each processor sold: If he loses on one side, he must win on the other side.

Qualcomm, at the end of April, sued ARM: in the documents sent to the court we read the following “ARM attempted to hinder Qualcomm’s technological progress in CPU design by withholding tools and documentation that Qualcomm had paid for under the ARM Architecture License Agreement (“ALA”), and, according to Qualcomm, ARM also falsified the existence of those materials when Qualcomm also threatened to terminate Qualcomm licenses (in addition to already terminated Nuvia licenses) if it attempts to enforce its contractual right to obtain the materials in questionThe materials in question would be verification and design tools, which Qualcomm had to develop from scratch because ARM did not want to provide those tools, which it would have had to provide anyway, under the terms of the current agreement.

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It’s a big mess, which is probably why Microsoft is looking to Mediatek for the future: Mediatek is the embodiment of ARM in terms of product, it only uses ARM designs It will be the first to use the newly announced ARM computing cores.

If the court rules in favor of ARM, Qualcomm will be forced to stop developing Nuvia cores and no more computers with Snapdragon Obviously, anyone who buys a computer today is not risking anything.


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