Moving their headquarters to the states?
Headquarters = one person answering the phone?
The tale of the Qualcomm and Broadcom merger has taken a turn for the surreal, with The Men In Black (aka the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – CFIUS) taking an interest. CFIUS, an inter-agency panel that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in the US, is likely a little …
Qualcomm knows that if it wants developers to build and optimize AI applications across its portfolio of silicon, the Snapdragon giant needs to make the experience simpler and, ideally, better than what its rivals have been cooking up in the software stack department.
That's why on Wednesday the fabless chip designer introduced what it's calling the Qualcomm AI Stack, which aims to, among other things, let developers take AI models they've developed for one device type, let's say smartphones, and easily adapt them for another, like PCs. This stack is only for devices powered by Qualcomm's system-on-chips, be they in laptops, cellphones, car entertainment, or something else.
While Qualcomm is best known for its mobile Arm-based Snapdragon chips that power many Android phones, the chip house is hoping to grow into other markets, such as personal computers, the Internet of Things, and automotive. This expansion means Qualcomm is competing with the likes of Apple, Intel, Nvidia, AMD, and others, on a much larger battlefield.
The European Commission's competition enforcer is being handed another defeat, with the EU General Court nullifying a $1.04 billion (€997 million) antitrust fine against Qualcomm.
The decision to reverse the fine is directed at the body's competition team, headed by Danish politico Margrethe Vestager, which the General Court said made "a number of procedural irregularities [which] affected Qualcomm's rights of defense and invalidate the Commission's analysis" of Qualcomm's conduct.
At issue in the original case was a series of payments Qualcomm made to Apple between 2011 and 2016, which the competition enforcer had claimed were made in order to guarantee the iPhone maker exclusively used Qualcomm chips.
Qualcomm has reiterated it would like a stake in Arm and help create a consortium that would keep the Brit chip designer neutral, or out of the hands of any single chip company at least.
The latest development in the Arm IPO saga comes from Qualcomm's chief executive, Cristiano Amon, who told the Financial Times that his company was interested in investing in Arm, and that Qualcomm could join forces with other chipmakers to buy Arm outright from owner SoftBank.
"It's a very important asset and it's an asset which is going to be essential to the development of our industry," Amon said.
AMD and Qualcomm have rolled out a joint effort that brings remote management capabilities over Wi-Fi for AMD business systems, potentially boosting their appeal for corporate IT departments.
The two companies said they were working together to improve Qualcomm's FastConnect wireless kit for AMD compute platforms based on the Ryzen chips for desktops and laptops. The starting point for this is AMD Ryzen-powered business laptops using Qualcomm's FastConnect 6900 system that delivers Wi-Fi 6 and 6E plus Bluetooth 5.3, supporting Wi-Fi connection speeds up to 3.6Gbps.
Remote management is enabled by the combination of the AMD Manageability Processor now embedded in Ryzen PRO 6000 systems and the FastConnect 6900 system, AMD and Qualcomm said, with support for the DASH client management standard developed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF).
Qualcomm has updated its Snapdragon X70 5G chipset to extend range and balance the transmit power for better performance. It also claims the Snapdragon modem will be the first to support a standalone 5G mmWave connection once it is available.
The wireless chipmaker announced its Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF System at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona this February, but appears to be extending its capabilities before devices based on it have even started shipping.
Some of these are based on Smart Transmit 3.0 technology, the latest incarnation of a Qualcomm technology that was developed to tune transmission speeds while staying within radio frequency power limits.
Qualcomm has vowed to unleash a generation of laptop processors that will rival Apple's M-series chips, though they won't arrive until late 2023.
That's the latest word from Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, who said development is "on track" for the Arm-compatible, Windows-friendly system-on-chips during his company's second-quarter earnings call [PDF] last week.
The update provides a little more granularity to the general 2023 shipping timeline Qualcomm provided last fall for its M-class laptop chips, whose custom CPU cores and design team were gained through Qualy's $1.4 billion acquisition of Nuvia in early 2021.
Qualcomm is sampling its Wi-Fi 7 Networking Pro Series chips aimed at throughput of more than 10Gbps for enterprise access points, gateways, and premium home routers.
The third generation of the chipmaker's Networking Pro Series platforms is set to "initiate a new era" of 10Gbps Wi-Fi, Qualcomm claimed, stating that the new portfolio is optimized for multi-user environments and low CPU utilization to power collaboration, telepresence, and metaverse applications for both home and enterprise environments.
Sampling means that the Networking Pro silicon is available to Qualcomm's OEM customers so they can develop and test the Wi-Fi 7 products that will ship to end users at some point. It isn't clear when buyers will actually be able to get their hands on kit to deploy, although Qualcomm previously said it expects to see Wi-Fi 7 products hit the market in 2023.
Volkwagen Group’s automotive software subsidiary CARIAD has picked Qualcomm to provide system-on-chip modules (SOCs) for its automated driving software platform.
The company has chosen Snapdragon Ride Platform portfolio as its hardware, projected to be available as of “the middle of the decade” according to CARIAD.
Volkwagen CEO Herbert Diess said its project Trinity – the next generation of electric vehicles which will require "high performance chips" – will be ready for Level 4 automated driving in 2026. Level 4 automation means cars can handle most tasks without human intervention, but people can still take the wheel if they wish.
Intel has acquired a graphics technology firm founded by ex-Qualcomm mobile GPU engineers whose previous company, Bitboys, was once thought of as a front-runner of desktop graphics.
Announced on Tuesday, Intel's latest acquisition is Siru Innovations, a Finnish firm focused on developing software and silicon building blocks, known as IP, for GPUs made by other companies. The Siru team will join Intel's fledgling Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group.
Balaji Kanigicherla, head of the Custom Compute Group within Intel's graphics business unit, said on LinkedIn that Siru's expertise in architecture, software, modeling and hardware implementation will aid Intel's accelerated computing efforts in various high-growth areas, including buzzy terms like blockchain and metaverse.
Lockdowns in China have been disrupting supply and demand for a variety of semiconductor companies amid broader challenges created by the ongoing global chip shortage.
Several publicly traded semiconductor companies discussed the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns in China at varying lengths during earning calls this week with analysts while also pointing to other sources of disruption, including an earthquake in Japan and a power line fire in France.
For instance, Texas Instruments cut its revenue forecast by 10 percent for its second quarter, which ends in July, because multiple Chinese customers have not been able to receive orders due to lockdowns, company executives said during its Tuesday earnings call [PDF].
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