Qualcomm has reached an agreement to acquire Nuvia, a chip startup founded by former Apple engineers.
The agreement between Qualcomm and Nuvia concluded for a figure close to $ 1.4 billion, with the aim of competing directly with Apple and Intel in the processor market.
Nuvia was founded by three former Apple designers who worked on the A-series processors for the iPhone. Nuvia’s key projects include a custom CPU core for use in servers, but Qualcomm is planning extensive use of Nuvia processors in high-end smartphones and laptops, as well as vehicle infotainment and driver assistance systems.
Qualcomm hopes to re-establish a leadership position in the chip market after years of licensing and patent litigation against Apple and several government regulators. The deal should help Qualcomm reduce its reliance on ARM as while Nuvia’s chips use the ARM architecture, they are custom designs that help the company reduce licensing costs.
Both Qualcomm and Nuvia have had significant disputes with Apple in recent years. In 2017, Apple sued Qualcomm for charging unfair royalties for “technologies they have nothing to do with“. One of Nuvia’s founders, Gerard Williams III, was instead sued by Apple for breach of employment contract. Apple accused Williams of recruiting Apple employees to Nuvia while he was still employed at the company, but has not filed any charges against Nuvia itself.
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