Skip to content
Home » Qualcomm custom-SoC plans hampered by Arm lawsuit

Qualcomm custom-SoC plans hampered by Arm lawsuit


Qualcomm recent cutom-Soc Nuvia acquisition could boost Arm’s market dominance in servers and Windows PCs. Qualcomm must deal with a lawsuit from… Arm?

Arm is suing Qualcomm over its $1.4 billion purchase of Nuvia, Reuters reported (case PDF here). Qualcomm’s purchase of Nuvia concerns Arm “Nuvia breached its Arm licences, causing Arm to terminate them and compelling Qualcomm and Nuvia to stop using and destroy Arm-based technology. Qualcomm and Nuvia continue to use Arm architecture despite Arm’s rights as the technology’s developer and licensor.” However Arm wants Qualcomm and Nuvia to stop using and destroy Nuvia technology because of the licence breach.

Nuvia has never marketed a product yet was founded by Apple engineers. Gerard Williams III was Apple’s primary CPU architect for nearly a decade, including for the M1 SoC. Although Qualcomm bought Nuvia to scale Arm designs to larger, x86-powered devices.

According to the lawsuit, Nuvia and Qualcomm held a “Architecture License Agreement (ALA),” the most expensive Arm licence tier. Arm doesn’t build chips—it licences its IP to manufacturers. Often, that’s a licence for a “off-the-shelf” Arm CPU design branded “Cortex.” Few significant Arm customers have an ALA licence, which lets them create their own Arm processor from start. Furthermore Apple uses this licence for all Arm-based SoCs.

According to Anshel Sag, Principal Analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, while this suit could delay access to advanced chip designs, it’s probable these businesses will reach a deal to continue development.

If Nuvia has a truly competitive Arm design and Arm is seeking to kill it, it can hurt customers, but I think Qualcomm will try to fix this before it goes to court.

Google’s conflict with Sonos shows how petty huge organisations can be when they don’t get what they want. Moreoever, we hope this litigation doesn’t affect future phones.

More tech related updates:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *