Report suggests Google has looked into buying a CPU startup now owned by Qualcomm


Google could have strengthened its Tensor chips

Source: Google


Google recently moved to making its own internal Tensor chips for its phone lineup, starting with the Google Pixel 6 and continuing the trend with the Google Pixel 7. Unlike Apple’s much more custom silicon, Google’s chips rely on more standard components, and are composed of Arm blueprints and Exynos modems. While the company is making some impressive strides in the TPU department, it seems that it also wanted to buy in some more specialized CPU knowledge, but failed.

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In a report from The Information that talks about Apple’s attempt to gain more CPU expertise (via 9to5Google), a recent purchase of Qualcomm comes to the fore. The chip manufacturer bought Nuvia, a startup founded by ex-engineers from Google and Apple. It seems the Snapdragon maker wasn’t the only one interested in the company’s designs and expertise. Google, Microsoft and Intel are also mentioned as being in talks to make purchases at the startup.

For Google, Nuvia could have been particularly interesting. While Apple already has a firm grasp on chip manufacturing thanks to its A and M series, which offer some of the most efficient designs in the industry, Google still looks like it’s at the beginning of its Tensor chip journey. The company’s chips are great for Pixel phones and the Google Pixel tablet, but they can’t compete with desktop-class CPUs that Apple, Intel, and Qualcomm offer for laptops and other larger form factors.

That’s where Nuvia could have come in. The company is mainly focused on powerful yet efficient desktop CPUs. It looks like Qualcomm plans to release a 12-core high-performance product straight from the newly acquired company soon, which should rival Apple’s M1 chip. In another world, Google could have released its now-discontinued Pixelbook lineup with a chip like this and rocketed straight to the top of the Chromebook food chain, making Chrome OS an even more viable alternative to Windows and macOS. However, a stronger and more efficient chip could help any Google product, and its phones could make strides in the longevity department with such technology.