Some of Arm's biggest customers have launched a joint venture for open standard instruction set architecture RISC-V.
Qualcomm, NXP, Nordic Semiconductor, Bosch, and Infineon have launched the as-yet-unnamed company to develop RISC-V hardware.
Based out of Germany, the new company will initially focus on the automotive sector, but with an eventual expansion to mobile, Internet of Things, and elsewhere.
The company will be a single source to enable compatible RISC-V-based products, provide reference architectures, and help establish solutions for the wider industry, the investors said.
While Arm licenses out its chip architecture to companies like Qualcomm, RISC-V is open source and would require no license fees. The UK-based company's financial difficulties have also been a concern for vendors - first, owner SoftBank tried to sell off the company to Nvidia for $40bn, causing concern among Nvidia's rivals about its neutral status. Now, after layoffs, Arm is planning a $60bn IPO - but has warned customers of a "radical shake-up" to its business model, and plans to charge "several times more" for chip licenses.
At the same time, Arm is also suing Qualcomm over the latter company's acquisition of Nuvia.
Qualcomm bought the Silicon Valley startup for $1.4 billion back in 2021, and hopes to use its custom cores across its product lines. Qualcomm began talking to cloud and data center companies about testing an Arm chip for the server market, which also uses Nuvia cores.
But a month later, Arm sued Qualcomm, seeking an injunction to destroy designs developed under Nuvia’s license agreements with Arm.
Qualcomm has not confirmed the status of the server chips, but said that it plans to release PC and phone chips with the Nuvia cores in the years to come.
As for RISC-V, the new consortium company does not currently have plans for data center chips. However, Tenstorrent is developing a RISC-V data center CPU, as is Ventana, and others.