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Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm said Wednesday it will pay $1.4 billion to buy Nuvia, a chip startup founded by former Apple employees.

Why it matters: The move gives Qualcomm fresh ideas for chip designs as the company faces intense competition from Intel, AMD and others.

Between the lines: Nuvia has a custom core based on ARM, which is in the process of being sold to Nvidia, a Qualcomm rival. Buying Nuvia gives Qualcomm more flexibility to move away from ARM, should it eventually do so for business or technical reasons.

  • In its press release, Qualcomm included quotes from a who's who of the phone and computer business announcing their support for the deal, indicating it hopes to use the technology in a wide range of chips.

Details: Qualcomm said founders Gerard Williams III, Manu Gulati and John Bruno will join Qualcomm along with the rest of the company's staff.

Yes, but: Williams, who is Nuvia's CEO, is in the midst of a legal battle with Apple. Apple sued Williams in December 2019, claiming that he breached his contract with Apple.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 14, 2021 - Technology

Legacy chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm seek to seize back control

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Although most eyes were on the impeachment and other Washington goings-on, Wednesday was a big day for the chip industry, which produced a 10-figure deal and a major leadership shakeup.

The big picture: Legacy chip players Intel and Qualcomm have watched other companies eat into the business lines that got them where they are. They're now seeking to seize control of their own fates.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 13, 2021 - Technology

Intel names former exec Pat Gelsinger as new CEO

Gelsinger. Photo: Intel

Intel said Wednesday that VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will return to the chipmaker as CEO, with current chief Bob Swan stepping down as of Feb. 15.

Why it matters: Intel faces a host of challenges from manufacturing issues to competition from rival AMD to Apple's move to use homegrown chips in the Mac.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.