14 February 2021

Qualcomm unhappy with Nvidia wanting to buy Arm

From Ars Technica:

According to CNBC, Qualcomm is one of many Arm licensees who continues to object to the acquisition. Although Qualcomm has so far refused to comment publicly, CNBCs sources say it believes Nvidia cannot complete the acquisition without crossing certain lines that people are worried about”—most likely, the anti-competitive lines we discussed above.

Seems to me there isn’t enough competition in this space at the moment, and Nvidia acquiring Arm may shake things up a bit.

I get the impression that Qualcomm is not interested in competing on merit in this space. It seems like they are persuing revenue streams that are not so much because of their technology, but because they are the only gig in town. They’re not afraid of squeezing customers over patient payments or not updating processors in four years.

They can do these things because who else are these OEMs going to go to? Intel doesn’t work with Arm. I guess they can go with Samsung or AMD, but I get the feeling that this is not always viable.

Maybe having a competitor here will help with improving the quality of the technology in this space. It’s probably not likely Nvidia — I sense that having control of the Arm architecture is more important to them than getting license free access to the IP — but it would be nice if it was.


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