Qualcomm Acquires Chip Startup Nuvia For $1.4 Billion, in a bid to take on Apple, Intel

CIOReviewIndia Team | Thursday, 14 January 2021, 03:54 IST

On Wednesday, Qualcomm Inc announced acquisition of Nuvia Inc. Founded by Apple Inc veterans, Qualcomm is a chip startup of $1.4 billion investments. Qualcomm plans to include the firm's technology into its smartphone, laptop, and automotive processors.

This deal signs Qualcomm to reposition itself as a leading chip performer after several years of high-profile patent licensing litigation with rival Apple and regulatory authorities. This also signifies a change in the helm with Qualcomm announcing this month that Cristiano Amon, who is the current president and head of its silicon division. He will replace CEO Steven Mollenkopf on June 30.

Apple's three former top-notch semiconductor executives founded Nuvia. The firm has been working on a custom CPU core design which it had said would be implemented in server chips.

Qualcomm plans a broader utilization of Nuvia's processors, stating that they would power flagship smartphones, next-gen laptops, infotainment systems, and driver-assistance systems in addition to other applications. Amidst the laptop manufacturers have traditionally turned into Intel Corp for processors, Qualcomm has been supplying PC chips for several years to firms like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Microsoft Corp.

A statement released by Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, says, "It’s exciting to see Nuvia join the Qualcomm team. Moving forward, we have an incredible opportunity to empower our customers across the Windows ecosystem." This deal is also important as it has the potential of helping in reducing Qualcomm's reliance on Arm Ltd, which is being purchased by Qualcomm rival Nvidia Corp for $40 billion.

A majority of Qualcomm's present chips are used in computing cores licensed directly from Arm, as Nuvia's crores utilize Arm's underlying architecture but are custom made. As for Qualcomm, utilization of more custom core design is a step that Apple also took, could reduce the licensing costs to Arm in the short term and way it to easier move to a rival architecture in the longer run.

Nuvia and Apple are at loggerheads when Qualcomm and Apple have resolved disputes over Qualcomm's patent royalties.

Apple sued Nuvia's Chief Executive Gerard Williams II in 2019, stating that Williams recruited Apple employees to Nuvia while he was still working at Apple.

However, Apple did not sue Nuvia itself or put allegations on any intellectual property theft, neither any trial conducted till now.

Don't Miss ( 1-5 of 25 )