Qualcomm acquires chip start-up NUVIA

NUVIA

Qualcomm has confirmed that it has acquired the CPU-design team NUVIA for approximately US$1.4 billion. NUVIA is a startup that started back in 2019 by 3 ex-Apple executives. NUVIA aims to develop power-efficient chips. The company has been working on a custom CPU core design.

Qualcomm thinks that NUVIA as a team has grown into a “world-class” CPU design entity. NUVIA team can be a great match for improving the Snapdragon SoCs for next-gen smartphones and also possibly laptops.

This deal will also help in reducing Qualcomm’s dependency on ARM that is being acquired by NVIDIA. Most of Qualcomm’s current chips use cores licensed directly from Arm. Nuvia’s cores use Arm’s underlying architecture but are custom designs. Now if Qualcomm uses Nuvia’s cores, it could lower some licensing costs to Arm and can improve its SoCs.

Several Qualcomm partners including Microsoft, OnePlus, Google, and Samsung have also welcomed the acquisition.

“It’s exciting to see Nuvia join the Qualcomm team,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, said in a statement on the deal.

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