Qualcomm has announced it is acquiring Nuvia, a chip company formed by ex-Apple employees, for $1.4 billion.
Qualcomm is the maker of a popular line of processors used in phones and tablets. While Qualcomm’s chips are based on Arm designs, like Apple’s custom silicon, Apple consistently takes top marks in performance benchmarks. It appears Qualcomm’s planned acquisition of Nuvia may be an effort to change that.
Nuvia primarily designs chips for servers, but the company appears to have much wider ambitions. Nuvia’s website speaks of “an opportunity to reimagine silicon design to create a new class of processor that delivers the step-function performance and energy efficiency improvements needed to power the next era of computing.” These plans are likely at the heart of Qualcomm’s interest.
“5G, the convergence of computing and mobile architectures, and the expansion of mobile technologies into other industries are significant opportunities for Qualcomm,” said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO-Elect, Qualcomm Incorporated. “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.”
“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.”
With Apple’s recent switch to its own custom silicon, the race is on to provide high performance processor solutions to the industry, solutions that go beyond what Intel can offer. Qualcomm acquisition of Nuvia is a big step in that direction.