In earlier articles, SemiAccurate hinted at the sad state of Qualcomm’s CPU core efforts. Please allow us to explain a bit more about what we meant.
A few weeks ago, Qualcomm had an investor day where they went on and on about the upcoming Nuvia CPU cores. This is normal behavior but Qualcomm went above and beyond the call of duty in their messaging which made our ears perk up. SemiAccurate had been looking into the state of this core, and Qualcomm’s CPU efforts in general for several weeks and the upbeat nature of the comments seemed to directly contradict our findings.
As you may know, SemiAccurate is a fan of Nuvia and were very optimistic about their efforts. On top of that we have had relationships with most of the key players at the company for years and decades in some cases, they were all top notch and had amazing track records. In short if anyone could pull off what they claimed, it was the Nuvia team.
This isn’t to say that we thought the first generation would be a smashing success, there is a steep learning curve in server hardware and any entrant is sure to get bitten here and there. That said this team was sure to overcome any obstacles in short order and the second gen core/SoC would probably be great and the third even better. This isn’t damning with faint praise but being realistic, go look at any CPU startup, they almost universally follow this path.
When Qualcomm bought Nuvia it seemed like a good fit, Qualcomm decimated their CPU core team a few years before and suddenly found themselves without any standout features for their new SoCs. The only way around this was to make or buy a core team. Making is quite possible but slow, buying is an expensive shortcut that can work really well if handled properly.
So what happened?
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Disclosures: Charlie Demerjian and Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. have no consulting relationships, investment relationships, or hold any investment positions with any of the companies mentioned in this report.