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Google looked into buying a CPU startup now owned by Qualcomm

Google recently switched to making its own in-house Tensor chips for the phone lineup, starting with the Google Pixel 6 and continuing the trend with the Google Pixel 7. In contrast to Apple’s much more customized silicon, Google’s chips rely on more standard components, and are composed of Arm blueprints and Exynos modems. While the company makes some impressive strides in the TPU department, it looks like it also wanted to buy in some more specialized CPU knowledge—but failed.

In a report from The Information that talks about Apple’s attempt at gaining more CPU expertise, a recent Qualcomm purchase takes the stage. The chip manufacturer bought Nuvia, a startup created by ex-Google and Apple engineers. It looks like the Snapdragon maker wasn’t the only one interested in the company’s designs and expertise. Google, Microsoft, and Intel are also cited as having been in talks about purchasing in the startup.

For Google, Nuvia could have been particularly interesting. While Apple already has a firm hold on chip manufacturing thanks to its A and M series that offer some of the most efficient designs in the industry, Google still looks like it’s very much 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, bigger form factors.

That’s where Nuvia could have come in. The company is mostly focused on powerful but efficient desktop CPUs. It looks like Qualcomm is planning to release a 12-core high performance product straight from the newly purchased company soon, which is supposed to rival Apple’s M1 chip. In a different world, Google could have released its now discontinued Pixelbook lineup with a chip like this and shot straight to the top of the Chromebook food chain, making Chrome OS an even more viable alternative to Windows and macOS. A stronger and more efficient chip could help any Google product, though, and its phones could make strides in the longevity department with technology like this. Android Police

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