One of the most significant SoCs from the house of Qualcomm is 8CX. Qualcomm decided to beef up the mobile core, add additional CPU, AI performance, and bigger GPU, but the power of ARM Cortex cores always limited the whole CPU subsystem.
Don’t get me wrong, Cortex X and Cortex-A cores are the best thing that exists outside of Apple, but in the last two years the industry realized that either ARM has to up its CPU core game, or someone has to come up with a new core, in order to challenge Apple’s leadership.
No doubt that part of the acquisition is the ability to compete better against possible Nvidia’s acquisition of ARM and uncertainty that the future owner will fight for everyone’s rights equally. One of the biggest concerns is that Nvidia might choose to invest and share the best minds in technologies that help it, for example, in its own data center but spend less in mobile where Nvidia doesn’t play.
I will list all the quotes below the article, but I will address carefully picked partners who welcomed the Nuvia acquisition.
One can also read the Qualcomm Nuvia acquisition automotive angle article.
Microsoft was intentionally first. The company created an ARM-based version of Windows to enable Qualcomm’s PC path, and at the same time challenge, the big treat coming out of Google called Chrome OS. Microsoft tuned up Snapdragon 8CX and called it its own, but essentially it is the same silicon just clocked higher. Microsoft will rely on ARM and Qualcomm roadmap to get the future cores for its PCs and tablets.
Microsoft will also happily embrace high-performance data center products that might come out of Nuvia too.
Google and its Chrome OS will benefit from the custom ARM-based core and more competition. After all, both Microsoft and Google want to fight with Apple’s M1 and future M cores. Microsoft and Google are just not as good in marketing as Apple is, not to undermine the success of the M1 core that is a step in the right direction.
Of course, Google also wants the data center power-aware chip too.
Samsung wants better CPU cores that will essentially save power in mobile devices. It gave up its own Exynos M4 and M5 cores, replaced them with Cortex A78, and X1 in the latest generation. Qualcomm did the same as both were not getting enough performance difference compared to the cores.
The math is relatively simple. Qualcomm and Samsung would have to invest significantly more in CPU design to significantly improve performance compared to the Cortex cores. Since Nuvia already did groundwork on a brand new CPU design and is expected to tape out its cores later this year, Qualcomm will have a solution and a cross-licensing agreement, potentially Samsung.
Samsung plays in the PC marketas a notebook manufacturer, and it will get better performance for its Always connected ARM-based PCs. Having an alternative in notebooks to Intel is always helpful.
I decided to have these two in a combo as they have a very similar agenda. Acer is betting on the PC side of the business, while Asus is better on PC and phone/gaming phones. Acer wants more Chromebook sales, too, as that market is growing. Nuvia custom CPU can enable more competition against Intel, AMD, Mediatek, and trying to take away some sales out of Apple will help.
HP and Lenovo want better competition in Always connect PC and Chromebook space, and Lenovo will benefit from the better phone and tablet CPUs. Having a better CPU core that can compete better and take away more sales from Apple, is welcoming.
These mobile phones focused company combo will also benefit from the future Snapdragon-based on a derivative of the Phoenix core getting a better performance to fight Apple’s iPhone.
As you can see, everyone who needs a phone and laptop processor and is not Apple is Intel, has been happy about the Nuvia acquisition.
We will address the automotive market in a separate piece and mention General Motors and Renault as car manufacturers and Continental, Bosch as well as LG Electronics / Panasonic / Sharp ODMs.
“5G, the convergence of computing and mobile architectures, and the expansion of mobile technologies into other industries are significant opportunities for Qualcomm”, said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO-Elect, Qualcomm Incorporated. “The NUVIA team are proven innovators, and like Qualcomm, have a strong heritage in creating leading technology and products. I am very excited to have them join our team. Together, we are very well positioned to redefine computing and enable our ecosystem of partners to drive innovation and deliver a new class of products and experiences for the 5G era.”
“Creating high performance, low-power processors and highly integrated, complex SoCs are part of our DNA”, said Jim Thompson, Chief Technology Officer of Qualcomm. “Adding NUVIA’s deep understanding of high-performance design and integrating NUVIA CPUs with Snapdragon - together with our industry-leading graphics and AI - will take computing performance to a new level and drive new capabilities for products that serve multiple industries.”
As part of the transaction, Nuvia founders Gerard Williams III, Manu Gulati and John Bruno, and their employees will be joining Qualcomm.
“CPU performance leadership will be critical in defining and delivering on the next era of computing innovation”, said Gerard Williams CEO of Nuvia. “The combination of Nuvia and Qualcomm will bring the industry’s best engineering talent, technology and resources together to create a new class of high-performance computing platforms that set the bar for our industry. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities ahead.”
Qualcomm’s broad ecosystem of partners have voiced strong support for this acquisition:
Microsoft: “It’s exciting to see Nuvia join the Qualcomm team. Our partnership with Qualcomm has always been about providing great experiences on our products. Moving forward, we have an incredible opportunity to empower our customers across the Windows ecosystem”, said Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Microsoft.
Google: "Compute performance, connectivity and power efficiency are critical ingredients that make the billions of Android and Chrome OS devices shine," said Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP Platforms & Ecosystems, Google. "The addition of Nuvia extends Qualcomm’s capabilities in these three areas and we're excited to see the next generation of Snapdragon with Nuvia."
Samsung: “With Nuvia joining the Qualcomm team, we look forward to continuing to innovate and building incredible experiences together. Qualcomm’s commitment to platform technology will help us offer the premium smartphone performance to our users around the world," said TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.
Acer: “Together with Qualcomm we have delivered a new generation of thin and light always connected PCs and Chromebooks. The acquisition of Nuvia will enable Qualcomm to continue to advance Snapdragon’s industry leadership and help Acer to continue to innovate and bring high performance, 5G connected devices to our customers globally,” said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc.
ASUS: “We have had the pleasure of collaborating with Qualcomm for many years to deliver premium smartphones, such as our flagship ROG Phone for gaming, as well as PCs powered by the exceptional performance and connectivity of Snapdragon platforms. We are excited for the future of our partnership as Qualcomm advances and expands its portfolio and capabilities with the addition of Nuvia,” said S.Y. Hsu, co-CEO of ASUS.
Bosch: “The automotive industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace of innovation. Bosch considers the adoption of new in-vehicle services and capabilities as one major driver for growth. Qualcomm is a strong partner to us. We see the need for high performance, power efficient platforms and appreciate Qualcomm’s ambition to push the boundaries of innovation even further,” said Dr. Andree Zahir, SVP for Infotainment and Connectivity, Bosch.
Continental: “Continental looks forward to the addition of Nuvia as we continue to partner with Qualcomm in bringing advanced capabilities to next generation vehicles,” said Peter Popp as head of purchasing, Vehicle Networking and Information, Continental.
General Motors: “We look forward to Nuvia joining the Qualcomm team as we continue to work together to deliver advanced in-vehicle services and technologies for the customers of our next-generation vehicles,” said Dan NicholsonNuvia VP, Global Electrification, Controls, SW ＆ Electronics at General Motors.
HMD: “Qualcomm has always been a best-in-class partner globally and our ongoing collaboration has enabled HMD to bring unique mobile device innovation to the market and deliver on the Nokia brand promise of being trusted, always secure and built to last. We are excited for the Nuvia team to join Qualcomm and congratulate the company on its commitment to ensure Snapdragon continues to be the industry’s leading mobile platform,” said Florian Seiche CEO, HMD.
Honor: “As a new, independent company committed to bringing breakthrough mobile experiences to consumers, we are pleased to see that Qualcomm will acquire Nuvia, enabling them to continue to lead in developing and delivering premium performance Snapdragon mobile platforms to the market,” said Biao Wan, Chairman, Honor Device Co Ltd.
HP: "HP and Qualcomm have been strong partners in addressing the needs of our mutual Personal Systems customers, most recently on the Elite Folio, the world’s first pull-forward business convertible, launched at CES," said Alex Cho, president of Personal Systems, HP Inc. "The PC is more essential than ever, and we’re excited to see the industry and Qualcomm invest in innovation to support the needs of the 5G world.”
Lenovo: “With Qualcomm we delivered the world’s first 5G connected PC. As we look to create the advanced capabilities PC users demand, we are excited that the world class CPU development team from Nuvia is joining Qualcomm and we look forward to continuing to work together to deliver breakthrough PC experiences to users across the globe,” said Gianfranco Lanci, President and COO, Lenovo.
LG Electronics: “The automotive industry is evolving at an accelerated pace of innovation driven by the adoption of new in-vehicle services and capabilities powered by technology partners like Qualcomm. The addition of the Nuvia team will enable Qualcomm to continue to consolidate compute and connectivity ECUs into high performance, power efficient platforms to push the boundaries of innovation even further,” Jin-Yong Kim, President of Vehicle components Solutions (VS) Company, LG Electronics Inc.
LG Mobile: “Congratulations to Qualcomm and Nuvia for joining forces to create a new breed of platforms that will push the envelope on compute performance and connectivity,” said Morris Lee, President LG Mobile.
OnePlus: “We are excited to hear Qualcomm will be extending their industry leading Snapdragon mobile platform leadership by acquiring the world class CPU team at Nuvia. OnePlus fans will also be excited to see what innovation and new premium experiences we can deliver on new flagship One Plus devices powered by future generations of Snapdragon mobile platforms,” said Pete Lau, Founder and CEO, OnePlus.
OPPO: “With Nuvia joining the Qualcomm team, we look forward to continue innovating together and building incredible devices powered by the Snapdragon mobile platforms. Qualcomm’s commitment to platform leadership will enable us to deliver innovative new products and experiences for OPPO smartphone users around the world,” said Tony Chen, Founder and CEO, OPPO.
Panasonic: “Innovation in the automotive market is occurring at an accelerated pace. We welcome the addition of the world class Nuvia team to Qualcomm and look forward to the continued partnership,” said Masashige Mizuyama, Chief Technology Officer, Automotive Company, Panasonic Corporation
Renault: “The automotive industry is the new frontier exploiting the benefits of mobile technology innovations in high performance compute and connectivity and Qualcomm has always been at the forefront. The addition of Nuvia is welcomed as we continue to work with Qualcomm to deliver world class in-vehicle services and experiences,” said Thierry Cammal, Alliance Global Vice President Software Factory.
Sharp: “With Qualcomm’s expertise and leading technologies, we have been able to deliver cutting edge devices and premium mobile experiences and we welcome the addition of Nuvia to extend Qualcomm’s leadership and enhance their capabilities,” said Shigeru Kobayashi GM, Sharp Personal Communications Group.
Sony: "We have enjoyed a great collaboration with Qualcomm for many years and are excited to hear the Nuvia team will be joining Qualcomm. As a leader in delivering amazing camera and gaming experiences on mobile devices we understand that to continue to lead will require the next generation high performance & low power computing and connectivity solutions that only Snapdragon platforms can deliver," said Mitsuya Kishida President, Sony Mobile Communications Inc.
VIVO: “Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platforms power millions of VIVO phones across the globe today, and the addition of Nuvia will help Qualcomm continue to lead, delivering the ultimate in high performance compute, lightning fast 5G connectivity and industry leading power efficiency,” said Shen Wei, CEO, VIVO.
Xiaomi: “Xiaomi and Qualcomm have partnered for over a decade to deliver world class premium mobile experiences to millions of people. The addition of Nuvia will extend Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platforms industry leadership helping Xiaomi to continue to bring innovation and next level premium mobile experiences to Mi fans around the world,” said Lei Jun, Chairman and CEO, Xiaomi.