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Qualcomm buying Bay Area chip startup Nuvia for $1.4 billion

Mike Freeman, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

Instead, Qualcomm plans to integrate Nuvia's CPUs prowess into its Snapdragon system on a chip for smartphones, laptops, connected cars, advanced driver assistance systems, augmented and virtual reality gear and network infrastructure products.

"Adding Nuvia's deep understanding of high-performance design and integrating Nuvia's CPUs with Snapdragon — together with our industry-leading graphics and artificial intelligence — will take computing performance to a new level and drive new capabilities for products that serve multiple industries," said Jim Thompson, chief technology officer of Qualcomm.

Nuvia raised nearly $300 million in venture capital during the past two years, including $240 million in October. Backers include the founders of chip maker Marvell Technology Group, Dell's venture capital arm, Atlantic Bridge, Redline Capital, Capricorn Investment Group and WRVI Capital, among others.

The deal must be approved by regulators. Qualcomm declined to say how many people work at Nuvia but the employees are expected to join Qualcomm, including founders Williams, Gulati and Bruno.

In announcing the deal, Qualcomm listed statements in support from 20 customers across a range of industries. They include Microsoft, Samsung, Google, General Motors, Renault, Sharp, Bosch, Sony, Lenovo, HP, Xiaomi, OnePlus, LG and Honor, formerly Huawei's smartphone division.


While Nuvia isn't yet a household name in the semiconductor industry, its technology "will allow Qualcomm to push the envelope on its CPU designs," said Daniel Newman of tech research firm Futurum.

"It's hard to downplay the importance this should have for Qualcomm in protecting its system development and desire to aggressively expand compute beyond just the smartphone, where it is currently best known," said Newman.

Qualcomm announced the deal before markets opened. Its shares were up nearly 2 percent at $157.14 in mid-day trading on the Nasdaq.

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