Qualcomm, a leading chip designer, has announced that it is set to acquire Autotalks, a chipmaker based in Israel, as part of its strategy to deepen its automotive business.
Autotalks specializes in building chips that are used in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technology to enhance road safety for both manned and driverless vehicles. With the increase in electric vehicles and automatic features in cars, the automotive market is becoming a key growth area for chipmakers.
According to Nakul Duggal, Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President – Automotive, the company has been investing in V2X research, development, and deployment since 2017. Duggal believes that a standalone V2X safety architecture will be required to enhance road user safety as well as smart transportation systems, as the automotive market continues to mature.
The acquisition of Autotalks by Qualcomm is a strategic move to incorporate its dedicated chips into the Snapdragon Digital Chassis product portfolio.
“We have been investing in V2X research, development and deployment since 2017 and believe that as the automotive market matures, a standalone V2X safety architecture will be needed for enhanced road user safety, as well as smart transportation systems. […] We share Autotalks’ decades-long experience and commitment to build V2X technologies and products with a focus on solving real-world road user safety challenges. We look forward to working together to deliver global V2X solutions that will help accelerate time-to-market and enable mass market adoption of this very important safety technology,” Nakul Duggal, senior vice-president – automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, said in a statement.
While the financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, sources close to the matter reveal that Qualcomm is paying between $350 million and $400 million for the startup. Autotalks has raised $110 million since its founding in 2009, with strategic investors like Samsung, Hyundai, and Toyota, as well as financial backers like Gemini Israel and Magma Venture Partners.
The acquisition of Autotalks by Qualcomm is seen as a significant move in the automotive industry, given the increased focus on safety in the development of autonomous and driver-assisted systems. Safety is considered one of the most important issues in the world of advanced automotive technology and is also one of the most lucrative opportunities. It is a primary feature and solution most likely to be used by customers, making it the technology carmakers are most likely to invest in when designing newer car models.
Qualcomm has already made significant inroads into the automotive industry, with customers such as VW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Honda, and Stellantis. The company had previously stated that its automotive business pipeline had increased to $30 billion in 2021, up from more than $10 billion since an announcement made in late July. The Snapdragon Digital Chassis can provide assisted and autonomous driving technology, in-car infotainment, and cloud connectivity.
The CEO of Autotalks, Hagai Zyss, expressed confidence that the acquisition by Qualcomm would help the two companies work together to deliver strong V2X products that will enhance transportation efficiency and safety for road users. This, in turn, will accelerate the widespread adoption of V2X technology, which both companies have been dedicated to building for several years.
“It has been our mission to revolutionize safety for the transportation and automotive industry through our V2X solutions. We are confident that by combining our knowledge and expertise, we will not only deliver strong V2X products that will enhance transportation efficiency and safety for road users but will accelerate widespread adoption of V2X. We look forward to serving the auto industry together with Qualcomm and to bring the best technologies to market,” Hagai Zyss, CEO of Autotalks, said.