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Qualcomm is going to acquire Nuvia, a chip startup founded by ex-Apple chip designers

2021 January 13
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Acquisitions happen on a regular basis, with larger companies picking up smaller efforts in a bid to bolster its own developments and efforts. One such acquisition is set to take place in the near future, with Qualcomm aiming to build its arsenal in its fight against Intel and Apple.

Qualcomm has confirmed that it is in the final steps to acquire a chip startup company called Nuvia, according to a report from Reuters today. That deal is said to be worth $1.4 billion. Nuvia was founded in 2019 by former Apple chip designers/executives, each of which worked on Apple’s own A-series processors during their time with the company.

Qualcomm’s goal is to reestablish itself as a leader in chip development and performance. It’s an interesting plan, especially with this particular acquisition, because Nuvia’s original plan was to take on AMD and Intel with service-side chips. Nuvia’s initial effort was to build chips for data centers. However, Qualcomm will reportedly retune that goal, and use Nuvia’s technologies in its own automotive, laptop, and smartphone processors.

Per the report today:

Qualcomm, however, plans a broad use of Nuvia’s processors, saying they would power flagship smartphones, next-generation laptops, infotainment systems and driver-assistance systems among other applications.

This deal will help Qualcomm reduce its reliance on ARM, too. That makes sense, considering ARM is in the process of an acquisition itself, as NVIDIA aims to buy ARM. That deal is said to be worth $30 billion.

Interestingly, the former Apple chip designers that started Nuvia aren’t too happy with Apple these days. At least, that appeared to be the position of Gerard Williams III, one of the founders of the chip startup. Last year, the former Apple executive said Apple suffocates “the creation of new technologies and solutions“. That comment came after Apple sued Williams after a reported “breach of contract”.


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