The legal dispute between Arm e Qualcomm could have an impact on other companies as well: changing the licensing model could prevent it development of the next Google Tensor. In fact, the “customization” wanted by Google on the Pixel chip would no longer be possible.
New Arm licensing model, Google Tensor at risk
Qualcomm acquired chip maker Nuvia, to work on desktops and servers. From this decision arises a legal dispute with Armwhich develops the technology used by Qualcomm (and not only) in developing the chips. That could have major impacts.
In fact, a Qualcomm lawsuit in response to Arm accuses the company of wanting cut Qualcomm from the equation, directly addressing smartphone manufacturers (as with Google). It’s threatening them to cut chip stocks if they don’t give Arm a qdrive based on the smartphones sold.
According to SemiAnalysis, the agreement proposed by Arm is a “take it all or leave“. If builders want an Arm CPU, they have to get graphics and neural processors for AI as well.
In other words, Samsung could no longer take the CPU from AMD as it is doing, having to buy Arm-Mali instead. And Google could not develop its own TPU in-house, the Tensor Processing Unit which is nothing more than a custom NPU. Thus limiting the possibilities for artificial intelligence and machine learning of smartphones.
This move could change the world of smartphones, although it must be said that Arm has not announced anything official: these are all accusations made by Qualcomm. We will keep you posted.