Qualcomm to Acquire Chip Startup Nuvia, Founded by Ex-Apple Chip Designers, for $1.4 Billion

Qualcomm has reached an agreement to acquire Nuvia, a chip startup company founded by former Apple chip designers, for $1.4 billion, in an effort to compete with Apple and Intel (via Reuters).

nuvia logo

Nuvia was founded by three former Apple chip designers that worked on the A-series chips for the iPhone. Among Nuvia's key projects is a custom CPU core design set to be used in servers, but Qualcomm is reportedly planning a broad use of Nuvia's processors in flagship smartphones and laptops, as well as vehicle infotainment and driver-assistance systems.

Qualcomm hopes to re-establish a leading position in chip performance after years of well-publicized patent licensing litigation with Apple and disputes with regulatory authorities. The deal is expected to help Qualcomm reduce its reliance on Arm, which is being purchased by rival company Nvidia for $40 billion.

Most of Qualcomm's current chip designs are licensed directly from Arm. While Nuvia's chips use Arm's underlying architecture, they are custom designs. This could help to lower licensing costs to Arm in the short term and aid the move to a rival architecture in the long term.

Both Qualcomm and Nuvia have had significant disputes with Apple in recent years. In 2017, Apple sued Qualcomm for charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with." One of Nuvia's founders, Gerard Williams III, was sued by Apple for breach of contract. Apple accused Williams of recruiting Apple employees to Nuvia while he was still employed at the company, but it did not bring charges against Nuvia itself.

Top Rated Comments

Spock Avatar
44 months ago
Apple really shook things up didn’t they??
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lkrupp Avatar
44 months ago

Apple really shook things up didn’t they??
Apple’s DNA is in just about evrything these days. Meanwhile Google stills makes money by selling our data to advertisers.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NotTooLate Avatar
44 months ago
This is what's going to make big trouble for Intel , an M1 Clone selling to OEM`s , going to be a fun time to be a consumer.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnmarki Avatar
44 months ago
I'm so happy Apple has the vision to make the moves they've been making. This news goes to show how important the M1 and future Apple in-house chip production will have on the industry.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0924487 Avatar
44 months ago
I think that will get on Apple's nerve because of trade secret.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
44 months ago
Apple, with a good SOC, bought Intel to make better modems. Qualcomm, with a good modem, bought Nuvia to make a better SOC. And round and round we go.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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