Qualcomm chip maker Advertise Big takeover today: To buy Santa Clara-based silicon company Nuvia for $ 1.4 billion. Qualcomm intends to use Nuvia technology in future chip designs for a wide range of devices, from phones to cars.
Nuvia was founded in 2019 by three former Apple CEOs of semiconductor company. The startup has developed a dedicated core CPU design for servers, and company materials frequently refer to the mission of “reimagining” silicon design. But Qualcomm is seeing implementations of Nuvia technology bypassing servers.
A Qualcomm press release says Nuvia will provide “function-step improvements in CPU performance and power efficiency to meet the demands of the next generation of 5G computing.” Qualcomm plans to use Nuvia technology in “flagship smartphones, next-generation laptops, and digital cockpits, as well as advanced driver assistance systems, extended reality and infrastructure network solutions.”
Like the recently launched Apple Silicon chip line, the Nuvia chipsets are based on ARM architecture but are not fully ARM licensed. This will allow Qualcomm to make better profit margins while developing chips that can help it directly compete with Apple’s chips. Qualcomm is already offering ARM-based chipsets for devices designed by Samsung and Microsoft.
The smaller company has fewer than 100 employees, according to CrunchbaseTherefore, the acquisition may mainly relate to intellectual property. However, the press release indicates that Nuvia’s founders and “their employees” will join Qualcomm.
The announcement included data supporting the acquisition and where it might go from a wide range of tech companies, including Microsoft, Asus, Google, General Motors, LG, and more. In other words, the acquisition is part of a joint strategy between Qualcomm, its customers and partners to fight the growing perceptions that Apple chips are faster and more efficient.
In 2019, Apple filed a lawsuit against Gerard Williams III, one of Nuvia’s co-founders, alleging that he tried to steal Apple employees for the new project before he left his position at Apple. However, the lawsuit did not claim intellectual property theft.