A company logo is superimposed over a cloud-swollen mountaintop.
Enlarge / A splash picture for Nuvia from the corporate’s weblog.

Chipmaker Qualcomm introduced a serious acquisition at this time: it’s going to purchase Santa Clara-based silicon firm Nuvia for $1.4 billion. Qualcomm intends to make use of Nuvia’s expertise in future chip designs for a variety of units, from telephones to vehicles.

Nuvia was based in 2019 by three former Apple semiconductor executives. The startup has been creating customized CPU core design for servers, and its firm supplies make frequent reference to a mission to “reimagine” silicon design. However Qualcomm sees functions for Nuvia’s tech past servers.

Qualcomm’s press launch says Nuvia will ship “step-function enhancements in CPU efficiency and energy effectivity to satisfy the calls for of next-generation 5G computing.” Qualcomm plans to make use of Nuvia’s tech in “flagship smartphones, next-generation laptops, and digital cockpits, in addition to Superior Driver Help Programs, prolonged actuality and infrastructure networking options.”

Just like the just lately launched Apple Silicon line of chips, Nuvia’s chips are primarily based on the ARM structure however not totally licensed by ARM. It will permit Qualcomm to realize higher margins whereas creating chips that might assist it compete with Apple’s chips extra instantly. Qualcomm already supplies ARM-based chips for machines designed by Samsung and Microsoft.

The smaller firm has fewer than 100 staff, in response to Crunchbase, so the acquisition could also be mainly about mental property. Nevertheless, the press launch does word that Nuvia’s founders “and their staff” will be a part of Qualcomm.

The announcement included statements in assist of the acquisition and the place it would go from a variety of tech firms, together with Microsoft, Asus, Google, Normal Motors, and LG, amongst others. In different phrases, this acquisition is a part of a technique shared by Qualcomm and its prospects and companions to battle rising perceptions that Apple’s chips are quicker and extra environment friendly.

In 2019, Apple sued one in every of Nuvia’s founders, Gerard Williams III, claiming that he tried to poach Apple staff for the brand new enterprise earlier than he left his place at Apple. Nevertheless, the swimsuit didn’t allege mental property theft.


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