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Qualcomm buys CPU startup launched by ex-Apple staff

cpu view
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)

Mobile giant Qualcomm has announced the acquisition of CPU startup NUVIA for $1.4 billion.

The deal brings NUVIA's design engineering expertise, opening up access to several new markets and categories. The company, which is only around two years old, was founded by two former senior Apple engineers who were part of the team that had worked on the custom ARM CPU development for the latest MacBooks and iPhones. 

The deal could be perceived as one final feather on the cap of outgoing CEO Steve Mollenkopf, who retires in March after 26 years with the company, and may even be enough to make competitors such as IBM, AMD and even Apple sit up and take notice.

NUVIA deal

NUVIA first hit the headlines back in 2019 when it raised $53 million in Series-A funding, and immediately followed it up with another fund infusion of $240 million in Series-B via Mithril.

Given the background of its founders, reports indicated that just as Apple's M series of chips for its laptops became talk of the town due to its efficiency on energy and performance, NUVIA would follow suit with their CPUs and manage a higher level of performance with limited power requirements. 

nuvia acquired by qualcomm

(Image credit: Nuvia)

In a press statement, Qualcomm said that NUVIA’s technology will be incorporated across the company’s line of chips, with its leadership centred around its 5G-focused Snapdragon line.

“Creating high performance, low-power processors and highly integrated, complex SoCs are part of our DNA,” says 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.”

The company’s founders and employees are expected to join Qualcomm following completion of the deal by US regulators.