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Qualcomm Inks $1.4 Billion Acquisition Deal With Chip Startup NUVIA

Qualcomm has signed a $1.4 billion deal to acquire NUVIA, a data center chip developer launched by former Apple executives.

Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm president and CEO-elect, said in a press release on Wednesday (Jan. 13) that the two firms have a “strong heritage” of developing cutting-edge technology. The “proven innovators” at NUVIA will complement Qualcomm, he said, and together they “are very well positioned to redefine computing … and drive innovation.”

Amon said the dawn of the 5G era, the acceleration of mobile tech and the intersection of computing and mobile architectures, “are significant opportunities” for Qualcomm.

The addition of NUVIA CPUs will help elevate Qualcomm’s Snapdragon as the platform of choice for the future of connected computing. It will add to Qualcomm’s leading mobile graphics processing unit (GPU), AI engine, DSP and dedicated multimedia accelerators.

NUVIA CPUs will be integrated into Qualcomm’s catalogue of smartphones, laptops and digital cockpits, as well as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, extended reality and infrastructure networking solutions, according to the release.

“Creating high performance, low-power processors and highly integrated, complex SoCs are part of our DNA,” said Jim Thompson, chief technology officer of Qualcomm. “Adding NUVIA’s deep understanding of high-performance design and integrating NUVIA CPUs with Snapdragon — together with our industry-leading graphics and AI — will take computing performance to a new level and drive new capabilities for products that serve multiple industries.”

Silicon Valley’s NUVIA was launched in 2019 by former Apple executives Gerard Williams III, John Bruno and Manu Gulati, all of whom will join Qualcomm, along with their employees. Together, the three have been granted 100 patents across 20 chips engineered at AMD, Apple, Arm, Broadcom and Google, according to NUVIA’s website.

The planned acquisition has the support of Qualcomm’s large tech customers, including Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Panasonic and others.

Qualcomm said at the start of 2020 that it was anticipating to ship 1 billion 5G smartphones by 2023. Amon spoke at last year’s Computer Electronics Show and introduced the Yoga 5G, a Lenovo 5G PC dual-purpose laptop and tablet. The first rollout of 5G laptops is being powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem.

Ericsson said in November that the rollout of 5G technology is moving quicker than anyone anticipated, thanks in part to the worldwide pandemic. The Swedish telecom equipment giant said is anticipated that 15 percent of the world’s population will live in areas that have 5G.

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