Qualcomm’s $1.4 billion acquisition of chip company nuvia aims to ease its challenge to arm to Apple


Sina Technology News on the evening of January 13, according to reports, today, Qualcomm will purchase nuvia, a chip start-up, for $1.4 billion, and apply its technology to the fields of smart phones, laptops and automotive processors.
Analysts said the deal showed that after years of high-profile patent licensing litigation with rival Apple and regulators, Qualcomm began to re-establish its leading position in chip performance.
Founded by three former Apple semiconductor executives in charge of iPhone chips, nuvia has been dedicated to customizing the CPU core design, which can be used in server chips in the future. Nevertheless, Qualcomm is ready to make more extensive use of nuvia’s processors for flagship smartphones, next-generation laptops, infotainment systems and driver assistance systems.
Although notebook manufacturers traditionally purchase processors from Intel, in recent years, Qualcomm has begun to supply PC chips to companies such as Samsung Electronics and Microsoft. Analysts said the deal was significant because it would help reduce Qualcomm’s dependence on arm, which has been acquired by rival NVIDIA for $40 billion.
At present, most of Qualcomm’s chips use computing cores that are directly licensed from arm, while nuvia’s cores use the underlying architecture of arm, but they are all custom-made. For Qualcomm, the use of more customized core designs (similar to Apple’s) may reduce some arm licensing costs in the short term. In the long run, it is also easier to turn to the architecture of competitors.
Although Qualcomm and apple have settled the royalty dispute, nuvia and apple have been at loggerheads. In 2019, apple sued Gerard Williams III, the CEO of nuvia, accusing him of recruiting Apple employees for nuvia while he was still employed by apple. Apple, however, did not sue nuvia.
Qualcomm also said today that the deal was supported by partners such as Microsoft, Google, Acer, ASUS, Bosch, GM, glory, HMD, HP, Lenovo, LG Electronics, LG mobile, oneplus, oppo, vivo, Xiaomi, Panasonic and Sony.