Today’s topics include Qualcomm’s talks to buy NXP, the end of BlackBerry smartphone production, new Microsoft Office 365 and Workday connections and Nvidia’s new Xavier system-on-a-chip that the company described as an AI supercomputer for self-driving cars.
Major processor and mobile device vendor Qualcomm is reportedly negotiating a purchase of its rival NXP Semiconductors. This would push Qualcomm into new markets such as automotive technology—a market the company has been eager to get into.
This deal is another example of a trend toward consolidation in the chip industry, and The Wall Street Journal reports it could be worth more than $30 billion. If the purchase does happen, it’s likely to be announced in the next few months. But insiders say Qualcomm is looking at other options should the NXP deal fall through.
Once the market leader in mobile phones, BlackBerry has been in sharp decline over the past nine years. After recent quarterly losses, the company has decided to halt design, production, distribution and sales of smartphones, instead focusing on outsourcing its business. The company has already secured a licensing deal with one Indonesian company that will continue to build and sell BlackBerry models in that particular market. According to company CEO John Chen, moves like this will reduce capital requirements while increasing return on invested capital.
Workday announced this week that will partner with Microsoft to integrate the company’s finance and human resource applications with Microsoft’s popular Office 365.
The first integrations of the two media should appear in the second quarter of 2017. This follows ratification of a separate team-up between Workday and IBM, which signed a multiyear partnership earlier this summer. That deal ensured IBM Cloud as the long-term home of all Workday’s development and testing.
Earlier this year, Nvidia unveiled its platform for self-driving cars, Drive PX 2, but the company is already talking about the next generation of autonomous vehicle technology. The new system-on-a-chip, or SoC, includes a new Volta GPU architecture, computer vision accelerator and boasts artificial intelligence capabilities that the company says will function as a self-driving car’s brain.
The company described the SoC, called Xavier, as a supercomputer with AI capabilities. Xavier will be sampled and tested by automakers, suppliers and research institutions in late 2017.