Special Offer: Try The Information for $10.

Former Qualcomm executive chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs. Photo: Bloomberg
Exclusive
Semiconductors Cloud Asia

Behind Qualcomm’s Retreat From Data Center Business

By
Aaron Tilley
 |  July 16, 2018 10:02 AM PDT
Photo: Former Qualcomm executive chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs. Photo: Bloomberg

Three years ago, Qualcomm mounted an attack on Intel in the market for server chips used in the highly profitable data center business. By June the effort was a shambles. As the company laid off hundreds of workers in the data center unit in North Carolina, a collection of tech giants—including Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and Nvidia—swooped in to recruit chip engineers freshly let go from Qualcomm, meeting with them at a hotel across the street.

While Qualcomm has publicly acknowledged cutbacks in the unit, it has maintained its data center efforts are merely “refocused,” not dead. Yet several people familiar with the matter said the company’s retrenchments go deeper than previously reported, including the cancellation of an unannounced new server chip that the team had begun advanced work on, raising questions about the future of the unit. Meanwhile, outside bids to acquire the business have collapsed—including one by Qualcomm’s former leader Paul Jacobs and another from Ampere Computing, according to several people. Neither bid has been reported before.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Exclusive Venture Capital
Andreessen Horowitz Looks to Launch Opinion Publication as Its Media Ambition Grows
Andreessen Horowitz co-founders Marc Andreessen (left) and Ben Horowitz. Photo by Bloomberg.
Silicon Valley investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, which once courted attention from the news media, is ramping up its own media efforts. The firm plans to expand its publication of content related to technology and business on its website through an opinion section that publishes articles from outside contributors, according to people briefed on the discussions. The firm currently has two...
Latest Briefs
 
Trump Pardons Ex-Google Engineer Levandowski
Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance in Months
FTC Cracks Open Door to AI Regulation
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Startups COVID-19
The Information’s Return to the Office Tracker
Of the companies most opposed to continuing remote work after the pandemic fades, Netflix stands out for the intensity of its stance.
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive Media/Telecom Entertainment
Apple Plans Podcasting Subscription Service in Threat to Spotify
Apple—long considered the sleeping giant in the podcast space—is waking up. The company, which runs the most widely used podcasting app in the industry, is discussing launching a new subscription service that would charge people to listen to podcasts, according to people familiar with the matter.
Zapier founders from left to right: Mike Knopp, Bryan Helmig and Wade Foster. Photo courtesy of Zapier
Exclusive
Sequoia Buys Shares in Elusive Startup Zapier at Multibillion-Dollar Valuation
Zapier isn’t a household name outside Silicon Valley, but the world’s top venture capitalists have long been trying to own a piece of the booming enterprise software firm.
Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Entertainment
Inside Nancy Dubuc’s Quest to Rehabilitate Vice
When television veteran Nancy Dubuc took over as CEO of Vice Media in the spring of 2018, cash was so tight that company executives were debating whether they should cancel the Friday morning ritual of free donuts and bagels for staff.
Snap's Ben Schwerin on stage at the virtual Snap Partner Summit 2020. Screengrab via YouTube
Exclusive Media/Telecom Google
Snap Names New Content Leader in Push to Counter TikTok
Snap has promoted executive Ben Schwerin to be its new senior vice president of content and partnerships, a move that signals the company’s ambitions to compete more aggressively with TikTok and to cut more deals with media companies and app developers.
VMware's Craig McLuckie. Photo provided by VMware
The Big Interview Enterprise Cloud
Meet the Former Googler Trying to Make VMware Cool to App Developers
When Craig McLuckie was a product manager at Google several years ago, he helped create Kubernetes, software that later became a widely used open-source tool for managing some of the most demanding online applications.