Qualcomm acquires chip startup NUVIA to beat Apple and Intel in the 5G era

Qualcomm says it will integrate NUVIA CPUs with Snapdragon to take computing performance to a new level.

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm Technologies is acquiring chip startup NUVIA for $1.8 billion.
  • The startup was founded by three of Apple's former top semiconductor executives.
  • Qualcomm plans to integrate NUVIA CPUs across its portfolio of products.

Qualcomm today announced that it has acquired chip startup NUVIA in a $1.8 billion cash deal. The chipmaker expects the NUVIA acquisition to help it cement its Snapdragon technology leadership and continue to deliver significant improvements in CPU performance and power efficiency for next-gen 5G computing.

Cristiano Amon, President and CEO-Elect, Qualcomm, said in a statement:

5G, the convergence of computing and mobile architectures, and the expansion of mobile technologies into other industries are significant opportunities for Qualcomm. The NUVIA team are proven innovators, and like Qualcomm, have a strong heritage in creating leading technology and products. I am very excited to have them join our team. Together, we are very well positioned to redefine computing and enable our ecosystem of partners to drive innovation and deliver a new class of products and experiences for the 5G era.

NUVIA was founded in 2019 by three of Apple's former top semiconductor executives, who lead the development of A-series chips powering the company's iPhones and iPads. The company has so far been working on a custom CPU core meant for use in server chips. Qualcomm, however, is planning to use NUVIA's CPUs to power a wide variety of devices – including flagship smartphones, laptops, digital cockpits, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, and more. By integrating NUVIA CPUs into its Snapdragon chips, Qualcomm can also significantly lower its dependence on ARM, which was acquired by NVIDIA last year.

The news comes just a week after Qualcomm announced the retirement of its current CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, who served the company for over 26 years. Cristiano Amon, who is the company's current President, will replace Mollenkopf as the new CEO.

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