Arm has sued Qualcomm and Nuvia, jeopardising Qualcomm’s plans to extend its foothold in the laptop and server industries.
Arm sued Qualcomm and Nuvia for unlawful use of licenses. British chip maker Arm argued Nuvia violated its license agreement and trademark.
Nuvia, formed by Apple’s former chief processor architect, received rights in 2019 to alter Arm’s off-the-shelf core and design custom cores based on Arm’s architecture. Arm’s complaint says Qualcomm’s purchase of Nuvia nullified the licenses.
Qualcomm bought Nuvia for $1.4 billion last year and expects to deploy its CPUs in smartphones, laptops, digital cockpits, and ADAS, among other gadgets.
Qualcomm transferred Nuvia’s licenses following the acquisition without Arm’s consent. The company’s license agreements prohibit this. In March 2022, Arm revoked Nuvia’s licensing.
“Before and after that date, Arm made several good faith efforts to resolve”. Qualcomm violated the Arm license agreement by using terminated licenses.
It contradicts Arm. Qualcomm General Counsel Ann Chaplin said, “Arm’s complaint ignores Qualcomm’s extensive, well-established license rights covering its custom-designed CPUs. We are sure those rights will be confirmed.”
Reuters speculates that Nuvia’s Arm royalties may be cheaper than Qualcomm’s. That could cause controversy over how much Arm profits from Qualcomm’s Nuvia chips.
“Qualcomm’s PC (and server) business depends on Nuvia designs, and Nuvia is Arm’s main way into Windows PCs. If corporations want to impact the PC market, they must partner properly “Reuters quoted TECHnalysis’ Bob O’Donnell.
Qualcomm has relied on Arm’s designs for years. Qualcomm buying Nuvia and changing to custom designs could be regarded as a move away from Arm, even if the chips would employ Arm’s architecture. Nuvia gives Qualcomm future flexibility.