Displaying items by tag: Qualcomm Incorporated

South Korea and EU approve Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP

Written on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:35

Qualcomm announced that the European Commission and the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) have authorized the acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. The acquisition has now received 8 of the 9 approvals around the world, with China remaining.

Telecom Review reported in November 2017 that Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP was set to receive European Union approval, after the company said it would maintain licensing terms for NXP’s MIFARE technology, used in swipe cards for the London tube system. Qualcomm also said it would commit to ensure NXP chips remain interoperable.

Qualcomm said in a statement that it has cooperated with the European Commission and the KFTC and agreed to all conditions required by the agencies to obtain their authorization. Qualcomm committed to exclude certain near-field communication (NFC) patents from the proposed transaction and ensure that NXP licenses those patents to third parties.

Qualcomm also committed not to assert the NFC patents it will acquire from NXP and maintain interoperability between Qualcomm’s baseband chipsets and NXP’s NFC chips and rivals baseband chipsets and NFC chips. Qualcomm also confirmed it will continue to offer a license to MIFARE on terms commensurate with those offered by NXP.

“We are pleased that both the European Commission and the Korean Fair Trade Commission have granted authorization of the NXP acquisition, and we are optimistic that China will expeditiously grant its clearance,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“Acquiring NXP is complementary to Qualcomm’s global portfolio, providing tremendous scale in automotive, IoT, security and networking and will greatly accelerate our ability to execute and create value in new and adjacent opportunities,” Mollenfopf added.

The European Commission expressed concerns in 2017 about Qualcomm's acquisition of NXP - announced in October 2016 - that the tie-up could lead to increased prices and reduced innovation in the semiconductor industry. Qualcomm offered in October 2017 concessions to move forward with the deal, but both Qualcomm and NXP warned that it could be delayed due to regulatory scrutiny.

However, winning EU and Korean approval is a big boost for the proposed merger. It is significant for Qualcomm in its bid to fend off acquisition advances from Broadcom, after the company rejected Broadcom's $130 billion offer.

According to Bloomberg analyst Anand Srinivasan, getting approval from the EU will be a relief for Qualcomm, as adding an automotive chip business in the form of NXP gives "it a much bigger and more diverse empire to oversee." Srinivasan believes the addition of NXP to Qualcomm's portfolio could see it convincing investors that Qualcomm has the right strategy to avoid Broadcom's advances.

Qualcomm announced on November 13 that its Board of Directors had "unanimously" rejected the unsolicited proposal by Broadcom on November 6. Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Qualcomm Incorporated, said the proposal "significantly undervalues Qualcomm" relative to its leadership in mobile technology and future growth prospects.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Qualcomm touts $1bn cost reduction strategy to fend off Broadcom

Written on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 09:41

In a letter to stockholders ahead of its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on March 6, Qualcomm highlighted details of a $1 billion strategy which aims to generate “significant value” for investors in the near term, in the wake of Broadcom making moves to acquire Qualcomm, which the company has labeled “opportunistic” and “aggressive”.

“Today we are executing a strategy that we are confident will continue to generate significant value for our stockholders in the near term with additional upside,” said the Qualcomm letter to stockholders. The company said it is committed to a $1 billion cost reduction program, and is also committed to creating value from its acquisition of NXP.

Qualcomm also said it expects to create value from resolving current licensing disputes, namely with Apple. “As is widely known, we are currently in litigation with Apple,” the letter reads. “What many stockholders do not realize is that we have binding long-term license agreements with Apple’s contract manufacturers. But Apple has required its contract manufacturers to cease paying us despite these existing binding contracts.”

Apple now continues to utilize Qualcomm’s intellectual property for its own profit without paying, the letter adds.  “In this litigation, Apple is seeking to avoid paying fair value for Qualcomm’s intellectual property, rejecting terms that are well established in the industry.  Apple has often used such litigation to try to renegotiate with its suppliers, and Qualcomm has taken legal action to enforce our contracts.”

Qualcomm also highlighted its leadership position in 5G, which is in the early stages of transforming multiple industries, including mobile, IoT, automotive and many others. This is why Broadcom’s acquisition bid was rejected, Qualcomm said, labeling it an “opportunistic” with a “highly uncertain – perhaps impossible – regulatory path to completion.”

The potential transaction would require clearance from at least a dozen antitrust regulators throughout the world, including the U.S., EU, China, Korea, Japan and others, as well as from national security agencies. Regulatory review would likely take at least 18 months to complete, and would likely require meaningful divestitures, ongoing restrictions on the combined entity’s conduct, potentially contradictory and irreconcilable demands from regulators, and the transaction could be blocked outright.

Qualcomm issued a statement on December 4 confirming the receipt of Broadcom’s nomination of a slate of candidates to replace Qualcomm’s existing Board of Directors at the company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Qualcomm perceived the move as a “blatant attempt to seize control of the Qualcomm Board.” 

Broadcom’s proposal was rejected by Qualcomm because it “dramatically undervalues Qualcomm and does not reflect our clear path to near term value,” the letter said. The move would also carry significant regulatory uncertainty, Qualcomm added, as well as giving “no value to the transformative opportunity in 5G.”

Qualcomm urges stakeholders in the letter to block Broadcom’s attempt to “capture, for itself, the value that rightly belongs” to investors. The company touted its position as 12-24 months ahead of its merchant competitors in the 5G space, as a result of “innovation and technological advancements.” A takeover by Broadcom, Qualcomm said, would bring “no value to the transformative 5G value creation opportunity that should play out as 5G is launched globally in 2019.”

Qualcomm’s strong position in 5G, coupled with its strength in connectivity, low power compute and security, has “positioned us for healthy long-term growth in areas such as mobile RF front end, IoT, automotive, computing and networking,” the letter adds. The opportunities, Qualcomm claims, represent a “serviceable addressable market” of $150 billion by 2020.

“We expect growth in these new areas to drive robust value creation for stockholders beyond 2019,” the letter reads. “We are demonstrating success in these areas with more than $3 billion in revenues in 2017, up 75% over the last two years.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Qualcomm’s Q4 results reflect ongoing dispute with Apple

Written on Thursday, 09 November 2017 09:54

Qualcomm Incorporated announced results for its fiscal fourth quarter and year ended September 24, 2017. The company reported revenues of $5.9 billion for Q4 2017 compared to $6.2 billion in Q4 2016 (5 percent drop). Qualcomm said the results were negatively impacted by its ongoing dispute with Apple.

The company also highlighted a previously disclosed dispute with another licensee, who underpaid royalties to Qualcomm due in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 and did not report or pay royalties due in the third and fourth quarter. Qualcomm said it expects the licensees will continue to take such actions in the future until the disputes are resolved.

Qualcomm Incorporated CEO, Steve Mollenfopf, remained positive, saying the results reflect “continued product leadership and profitability improvement in our semiconductor business, including strength in adjacent opportunities outside mobile.”

Mollenkopf said the company continues to see “strong growth trends for global 3G/4G device shipments and are focused on protecting the established value of our technologies and inventions. We are leading the industry to 5G and are well positioned with our product and technology leadership to continue our expansion into many exciting new product categories, such as automotive, mobile computing, networking and the Internet of Things.”

In addition to the Apple dispute, Qualcomm’s Q4 results were negatively affected by an $868 million fine imposed by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) in the first quarter of 2017; as well as a $974 million reduction to revenues related to the BlackBerry arbitration decision in the second quarter; and a $778 million fine imposed by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC), which was accrued in the fourth quarter.

Also affecting Qualcomm’s results, during the fiscal year, the company deposited $2 billion to collateralize the letters of credit related to its proposed acquisition of NXP, which was recorded as other noncurrent assets at the end of the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2017.

On October 27, 2016, Qualcomm announced a definitive agreement to acquire NXP Semiconductors N.V. for estimated total cash of $38 billion to be paid to shareholders. NXP is a leader in high-performance, mixed-signal semiconductor electronics in automotive, broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, network processing and RF power products. The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.

Published in Finance

Qualcomm President Derek Aberle to step down

Written on Sunday, 03 September 2017 08:17

Qualcomm Incorporated announced on August 25 that Derek Aberle has decided to leave the company after a 17-year career during which he served as President of Qualcomm Incorporated and helped drive the company’s overall global strategy and vision as a member of Qualcomm’s Executive Committee. His departure will be effective as of December 31, 2017.

“On behalf of the Executive Team, I want to thank Derek for the vision, creativity, dedication, and judgment he brought to the company and wish him all the best in the future,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“Under his talented leadership, the QTL division has significantly grown in both revenues and profits, established its 4G licensing program and enabled significant competition across the industry,” Mollenkopf added. “I believe the company is well positioned to build on Derek’s record of success and continue to deliver solid results in the future.”

Aberle commented, “Over the past 30 years Qualcomm has invented the core technologies that have enabled the mobile revolution and made all modern smartphones possible, I am very proud to have been a part of that tradition of innovation, and of all that we've been able to accomplish during my tenure.”

As part of its transition plan, Qualcomm announced that executive vice president and QTL president Alex Rogers, who has run QTL since March 2016, and is a member of Qualcomm’s Executive Committee, will report directly to Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

Rogers joined Qualcomm in 2001 and has since held various leadership positions at the company. During his tenure leading QTL, Rogers has helped conclude key licensing agreements in China, been involved in numerous IP and regulatory matters and launched new teams within QTL focused on technology, product strategy, compliance and relationship management.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Qualcomm Incorporated announced that Qualcomm River Holdings B.V., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, has extended the offering period of its previously announced cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding common shares of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The tender offer is being made pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, dated as of October 27, 2016, by and between Qualcomm River Holdings B.V. and NXP. The tender offer is now scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 28, 2017, unless extended or earlier terminated, in either case pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement.

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC, the depositary for the tender offer, has advised Qualcomm River Holdings B.V. that as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 30, 2017, the last business day prior to the announcement of the extension of the offer, 47,682,083 NXP common shares (excluding 18,439 shares tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures that have not yet been delivered in settlement or satisfaction of such guarantee), representing approximately 14.1% of the outstanding NXP common shares, have been validly tendered pursuant to the tender offer and not properly withdrawn.

Shareholders who have already tendered their common shares of NXP do not have to re-tender their shares or take any other action as a result of the extension of the expiration date of the tender offer.

In addition, Qualcomm announced that the required merger control filings relating to the transaction were filed in South Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and Japan on May 2, 2017, May 9, 2017, May 10, 2017, and May 31, 2017, respectively.

The filings are subject to review by the applicable agencies as further described in the tender offer statement on Schedule TO filed by Qualcomm River Holdings B.V. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on November 18, 2016, as amended (the “Schedule TO”).

Completion of the tender offer remains subject to additional conditions described in the Schedule TO. Such conditions include the receipt of regulatory approvals in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions and at least 80% of NXP’s outstanding shares being validly tendered and not withdrawn prior to the expiration of the tender offer (including any extensions).

The tender offer will continue to be extended until all conditions are satisfied or waived, or until the tender offer is terminated, in either case pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement by and between Qualcomm River Holdings B.V. and NXP and as described in the Schedule TO. The transaction is expected to close by the end of calendar 2017.

Innisfree M&A Incorporated is acting as information agent for Qualcomm River Holdings B.V. in the tender offer.

Published in Finance

Qualcomm Incorporated through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., announced at its Internet of Things (IoT) industry analyst workshop that the company is currently shipping more than 1 million chips per day for the Internet of Things.

This momentum reflects Qualcomm Technologies' unique ability to invent and deliver the technologies needed for the IoT, and to meet challenging customer requirements for interoperability, connectivity, compute and security.

The company uses its technical expertise to design platforms that help customers commercialize IoT products quickly and cost-effectively in areas including wearables, voice and music, connected cameras, robotics and drones, home control and automation, home entertainment, and commercial and industrial IoT.

"We are focused on significantly expanding capabilities at the edge of the network by supporting everyday objects with the connectivity, compute and security technologies required to build a powerful Internet of Things, where devices are smart, convenient, work well together and incorporate advanced security features," said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, IoT, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

"While hundreds of brands have shipped over 1.5 billion IoT products using our solutions, we are just getting a glimpse of the benefits that the IoT can deliver, with analysts estimating that IoT applications could have a total economic impact of up to 11 trillion dollars a year by 2025. We have built strong capabilities on top of our leadership in mobile inventions, and we are innovating in exciting new areas such as deep learning, voice interface and LTE IoT that will power a new generation of IoT devices."

Qualcomm Technologies' traction in IoT spans across a variety of ecosystems. For instance, the company's wearables platforms have been adopted in more than 150 wearable designs, and over 80 percent of Android Wear™ smartwatches launched or announced are based on Snapdragon Wear 2100. In smart homes, more than 125 million TVs, home entertainment and other connected home products from leading brands have shipped using Qualcomm Technologies' connectivity chips.

For commercial and industrial IoT applications, over 30 designs are using the company's MDM9206 modem with multimode support for LTE categories M1 and NB1, E-GPRS and global RF bands. MDM9206 is purposely developed for IoT applications and is commercially available today.

To address this wide variety of ecosystems, form factors and requirements in the IoT, Qualcomm Technologies offers one of the broadest portfolios of chips and platforms, including mobile, multimedia, cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth system-on-chips. These solutions include comprehensive software with platform-specific applications and APIs, as well as support for multiple communication protocols, operating systems and cloud services.

To further help manufacturers develop IoT devices quickly and cost-effectively, Qualcomm Technologies makes available more than 25 production-ready reference design platforms through a network of original design manufacturers (ODMs) for products including voice-enabled home assistants, connected cameras, drones, VR headsets, lighting, appliances and smart hubs/gateways.

Published in Internet of Things

Qualcomm Incorporated announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., has introduced two new mobile platforms, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630, both designed to support a leap in performance, enabling advanced photography and enhanced gaming, in addition to long battery life and fast LTE speeds. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms include the Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs, which encompass the baseband functionalities, plus software and hardware components including RF front end, integrated Wi-Fi, power management, audio codec and speaker amplifier, all to support a comprehensive mobile solution.

“With the introduction of the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms, we are thrilled that features such as improved image quality and fast LTE speeds will now be available in a wide array of devices without sacrificing performance or quality,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This ensures that a greater number of consumers will be able to take advantage of higher quality user experiences in camera, audio and visual processing, connectivity, improved CPU and GPU performance, fast charging, security and machine learning.”

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms focus on seven categories of features:

  • Camera: The Qualcomm Spectra 160 premium camera ISP supports improved photographic image quality for more natural skin tones, superior low light photography, as well as better power efficiency and higher throughput for dual camera smartphones. Also supported are features like smooth optical zoom, bokeh effects, dual pixel autofocus, and improved camcorder video stabilization.
  • Audio/Visual Processing: The Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP featuring vector extensions (HVX) on the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform enables high performance, power efficient processing of imaging, computer vision, and machine intelligence workloads, another first in the 600 tier. Optimized software libraries include support for TensorFlow and Halide. Both platforms also support Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology with support for the Google Awareness API. This technology provides Qualcomm Technologies’ next generation of always-on contextual experiences and uses very low power running on the Hexagon DSP.
  • Connectivity: The Snapdragon 660 and 630 both feature a Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem, paired with the new SDR660 RF transceiver, which support peak downlink data rates of 600Mbps to the 600-tier lineup of SOCs for the first time. The Snapdragon 660 supports 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi for twice as much data throughput and 60 percent lower download power consumption as the Snapdragon 652. It also offers improved coverage, especially in homes, and offices with hard to penetrate brick and concrete walls as well as advanced features such as LTE/Wi-Fi antenna sharing, and Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) operation. Both platforms also come with advanced RF front-end support including Qualcomm TruSignal adaptive antenna tuning with carrier aggregation, designed to dynamically optimize signal quality in varying user conditions for wide network coverage and more consistent data and voice experience. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 are the first 600-tier chipsets with envelope tracking technology, including high-power user equipment (HPUE) support, for superior power efficiency and thermal performance. Both platforms also integrate powerful location engines with better sensitivity and support for new constellations (Galileo and QZSS) for faster location fix, enhancements to support mandatory emergency service requirements, as well as smoother pedestrian navigation with up to 50 – 75 percent lower power consumption (compared to previous generation). Both platforms also feature Bluetooth 5 support, which doubles the amount of data that devices can transfer compared to the previous iteration.
  • Improved CPU and GPU: The Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform is the successor to the Snapdragon 653 and features a 20 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Kryo 260 CPU and 30 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU performance, ensuring a better gaming and multimedia experience for end users. The Snapdragon 630, which succeeds the Snapdragon 625, offers a 30 percent increase in the Adreno 508 GPU performance over its predecessor, as well as a 10 percent increase in CPU performance over its predecessor. Both platforms are designed to offer excellent battery life.
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 4: The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms feature the latest innovations in Quick Charge technology, which supports up to 5 hours of talk time in just 5 minutes of charging and up to 50 percent battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.
  • Security: Both platforms support Qualcomm Mobile Security, which provides security focused hardware-based protection, user authentication and device attestation on the mobile device.
  • Machine Learning: OEMs and developers can also power immersive and engaging user experiences with machine learning on the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK. This heterogeneous software framework offers support for Caffe/Caffe2 and TensorFlow, making it easy to target and run neural networks on the Snapdragon core that matches the power and performance profile of the desired feature – CPU, GPU or DSP/HVX.

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms share the same modem and camera architecture, and are pin and software compatible, making it simpler and easier for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build, test and calibrate their devices. Both platforms use a 14nm FinFET process and provide 4K video capture and playback capabilities, along with 8GB maximum memory and Vulkan API support. Additionally, the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform supports displays up to QHD (2K) resolution, whereas the 630 supports FHD/QXGA (1080p).

Published in Gadget

Qualcomm Incorporated filed its Answer and Counterclaims to the January lawsuit brought by Apple against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Qualcomm’s filing details the value of the technologies Qualcomm has invented, contributed and shared with the industry through its licensing program, as well as Apple’s failure to engage in good faith negotiations for a license to Qualcomm’s 3G and 4G standard essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The filing also outlines how Apple breached agreements and mischaracterized agreements and negotiations with Qualcomm; interfered with Qualcomm’s long-standing agreements with Qualcomm licensees that manufacture iPhones and iPads for Apple; and encouraged regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world by misrepresenting facts and making false statements.

Qualcomm further claims that Apple chose not to utilize the full performance of Qualcomm’s modem chips in its iPhone 7, misrepresented the performance disparity between iPhones using Qualcomm modems and those using competitor-supplied modems; and threatened Qualcomm in an attempt to prevent it from making any public comparisons about the superior performance of the Qualcomm-powered iPhones.

Qualcomm seeks, among other things, damages from Apple for reneging on its promises in several agreements and to enjoin Apple from further interference with Qualcomm’s agreements with the companies that manufacture iPhones and iPads for Apple.

“Qualcomm is the world leader in inventing and developing fundamental, ground-breaking mobile technologies that enable the worldwide mobile ecosystem. Today, Qualcomm's patented technologies remain the primary value driver for mobile devices,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. 

“The value of our inventions has been proven through hundreds of license agreements, negotiated and renegotiated over almost three decades, with virtually every significant handset maker in history, including the companies in Asia that have manufactured Apple iPhones and iPads. Over the last ten years, Apple has played a significant role in bringing the benefits of mobile technology to consumers with its popular products and services. But Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm's fundamental cellular technologies.”

“Now, after a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies. It has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm. We intend to vigorously defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry,” Rosenberg said.

Qualcomm fired back at Apple after it sued the company on 20 January this year, over allegations of monopoly abuse. Some analysts suspected Apple was taking advantage of the monopoly abuse lawsuit filed against Qualcomm by the US Federal Trade Commission, to pave the way for other mobile chipset makers, in order to forge more deals. Analyst Patrick Moorhead said he believed Apple was “not comfortable in feeling that they have only one [chipset] source and are taking this opportunity to go after Qualcomm.”

Apple claimed Qualcomm owes it a billion dollars and said the company is refusing to pay since Apple cooperated with South Korean antitrust regulators looking into antitrust claims against Qualcomm in the country. However, the iPhone maker was accused of hypocrisy since the company is facing its own monopoly abuse accusations regarding its App Store.

A lawsuit filed against Apple, Inc. in 2011, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for monopoly abuse regarding Apple’s App Store, was revived earlier this year. A US appeals court received the civil suit on January 12. Apple has been accused of creating a monopoly by making its App Store the only place to purchase iPhone applications.

Qualcomm rejected Apple’s monopoly abuse claims in January as baseless, and insisted the iPhone maker “intentionally mischaracterized” agreements between the two companies as well as the value of Qualcomm’s technologies.

Some analysts suspect Apple is trying to pave the way for other rival chipset makers to flourish, by taking advantage of the monopoly abuse claims being made against Qualcomm. Apple relies on Qualcomm for chip-based modems that enable iPhones and iPads to communicate with telecommunication networks. By playing into the antitrust claims against Qualcomm, Apple could forge better deals with its competitors.

Published in Telecom Vendors