Qualcomm to acquire Nuvia for $1.4B

Qualcomm Technologies entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nuvia for about $1.4 billion.

Nuvia is a Santa Clara, California-based startup that was founded by Apple veterans. Qualcomm said the acquisition builds on its Snapdragon technology, delivering step-function improvements in CPU performance and power efficiency to meet the demands of 5G.

Qualcomm expects to integrate Nuvia CPUs across its portfolio of products, including for flagship smartphones, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, extended reality and infrastructure networking solutions.

“5G, the convergence of computing and mobile architectures, and the expansion of mobile technologies into other industries are significant opportunities for Qualcomm,” said Qualcomm President and soon-to-be CEO Cristiano Amon in a statement. “The Nuvia team are proven innovators, and like Qualcomm, have a strong heritage in creating leading technology and products.... 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.”

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Nuvia gives Qualcomm leading talent and IP to develop custom high performance, low power CPU cores that can further differentiate Qualcomm platforms across smartphone, PC and automotive, according to CCS Insight analyst and Fierce contributor Geoff Blaber. “Differentiation in CPU is challenging and resource intensive but Qualcomm has clearly decided that it’s time to double down with a leading team focused on very complementary segments,” he said.

Apple is expected to continue to use its own CPU designs in the future. “This is about enabling a broad ecosystem across mobile, automotive and PC in order to better compete with Apple and deliver high performance, low power solutions for a raft of new products. The breadth of industry support in the press release speaks for itself,” he said.  

Indeed, a lot of Qualcomm’s partners were quoted in the press release providing positive statements about the deal, including Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Bosch, General Motors, HP, Lenovo, LG Mobile, OnePlus, Sony and Xiaomi, to name a few. 

Nuvia founders Gerard Williams III, Manu Gulati and John Bruno, as well as their employees, will be joining Qualcomm. The deal is still subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

“CPU performance leadership will be critical in defining and delivering on the next era of computing innovation,” said Nuvio CEO Williams said in the release. “The combination of Nuvia and Qualcomm will bring the industry’s best engineering talent, technology and resources together to create a new class of high-performance computing platforms that set the bar for our industry. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities ahead.”