Displaying items by tag: chipset

US electronics behemoth Intel has made the decision to withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business following the unlikely resolution agreement that was brokered between Qualcomm and Apple.

Apple and Qualcomm managed to settle the dispute between both parties over royalty payments and reached a deal ahead of fresh court case that was set to get underway in San Diego next week.

The modems that connect smartphones to telecommunications networks were at the heart of the battle between Apple and Qualcomm. Following the announcement the dispute had been resolved Intel wasted no time in exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.

Intel had clearly recognized and identified that there was an opportunity for them to capitalize on the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, and then Apple had turned to Intel before reaching the agreement with Qualcomm.

The lawsuit was expected to be a protracted legal battle, but after the unlikely resolution it’s expected that Apple and Qualcomm will now become partners again before there fall out in 2017.

Intel issued a statement in which it indicated that it would complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices while pursuing investment opportunities in its 5G network infrastructure business.

CEO Bob Swan insisted that 5G will remain a key focus for the US electronics conglomerate and said its diverse portfolio of products will help them to become a major player in the 5G space.

Swan said, “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world."

The company also added that it would meet commitments to customers for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, though it has no plans to launch 5G smartphone modem products, including those previously set to premiere in 2020 

Currently under deployment, ultra-fast 5G wireless networks require terminals that are equipped with 5G models and specific network infrastructure.

Published in Devices

US technology giant Apple is reportedly mulling over the prospect of entering into an unlikely partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei in an effort to address issues with the modem technology in its flagship iPhones.

Published in Devices

At a 5G launch event in Beijing that doubled up as a pre-briefing for the MWC Barcelona 2019, Huawei officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000 – along with the first commercial 5G device powered by it, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro. Together, these two new products provide the world's fastest wireless connections for your smartphone, your home, the office, and on the go.

Huawei also launched world's first core chip specifically designed for 5G base stations, Huawei TIANGANG. The innovative chip will support simplified 5G networks and large-scale 5G network deployment all over the world. To date, the company has won 30 commercial 5G contracts and shipped over 25,000 5G base stations globally.

Balong 5000: Ushering in the 5G era

Balong 5000 officially unlocks the 5G era. This chipset supports a broad range of 5G products in addition to smartphones, including home broadband devices, vehicle-mounted devices, and 5G modules. It will provide consumers with a brand new 5G experience across multiple scenarios.

“The Balong 5000 will open up a whole new world to consumers,” said the CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu. “It will enable everything to sense, and will provide the high-speed connections needed for pervasive intelligence. Powered by the Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro enables consumers to access networks more freely and enjoy an incredibly fast connected experience. Huawei has an integrated set of capabilities across chips, devices, cloud services, and networks. Building on these strengths, as the leader of the 5G era, we will bring an inspired, intelligent experience to global consumers in every aspect of their lives.”

With a small form factor and high degree of integration, Balong 5000 supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G on a single chip. It effectively reduces latency and power consumption when exchanging data between different modes, and will significantly enhance user experience in the early stages of commercial 5G deployment. Balong 5000 marks a significant step forward for the Balong series of chipsets.

Balong 5000 is the first chipset to perform to industry benchmarks for peak 5G download speeds. At Sub-6 GHz (low-frequency bands, the main spectrum used for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. On mmWave spectrum (high-frequency bands used as extended spectrum for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 6.5 Gbps – 10 times faster than top 4G LTE speeds on the market today.

Balong 5000 is also the world's first chipset that supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures for 5G. With non-standalone, 5G network architecture is built on top of legacy 4G LTE networks, whereas standalone 5G, as the name implies, will have its own independent architecture. Balong 5000 can flexibly meet different user and carrier requirements for connecting devices throughout different stages of 5G development.

It is also the world's first multi-mode chipset that supports Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communications, providing low-latency and highly reliable solutions for connected vehicles. Huawei's 5G smartphones powered by Balong 5000 will be released at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Huawei 5G CPE Pro: Changing user experiences in home broadband networks

Powered by Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro supports both 4G and 5G wireless connections. On a 5G network, a 1-GB HD video clip can be downloaded within three seconds, and 8K video can be streamed smoothly without lag. This sets a new benchmark for home CPEs. In addition to homes, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro can also be used by small and medium-sized enterprises for super-fast broadband access.

Adopting new Wi-Fi 6 technology, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro delivers speeds of up to 4.8 Gbps. It is the first 5G CPE that supports HUAWEI HiLink protocols, bringing smart homes into the 5G era.

World's first 5G base station core chip for simplified 5G

At the 5G event, Huawei also launched the industry's first 5G core chip, Huawei TIANGANG, with breakthroughs in integration, computing power, and spectral bandwidth. This chip is highly integrated, which means it can support large-scale integration of active power amplifiers (PAs) and passive antenna arrays into very small antennas. It also boasts super high computing capacity, with a 2.5-fold increase over previous chips. Using the latest algorithms and beamforming technology, a single chip can control up to 64 channels, which is the industry's highest standard. This chip also supports the 200 MHz high spectral bandwidth, getting ready for future network deployment.

This chip also brings revolutionary improvements in active antenna units (AAUs), with 50% smaller, 23% lighter, and 21% less power consuming base stations. 5G base stations can be deployed in just half the time it took to install a 4G base station. These features will help address issues such as site acquisition and network deployment costs.

AI for autonomous driving networks

Moreover, Huawei also launched the world's first data center switch with an AI brain. Boasting industry-leading performance, this switch enables zero Ethernet packet loss and end-to-end latency of less than 10 milliseconds. It consumes less than 8W of power while delivering more computing capacity than 25 mainstream two-way CPU servers combined.

Huawei has also introduced its full-stack, all-scenario AI technologies to enable an autonomous driving network, and developed the SoftCOM AI solution to help operators maximize energy efficiency, network performance, O&M efficiency, and user experiences.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Broadcom proposes to acquire Qualcomm for $130 billion

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 12:30

US semiconductor firm Broadcom has proposed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qualcomm for per share consideration of $70 in cash – a transaction valued at $130 billion. The proposal was made on Nov. 6, and represents a 28 percent premium over the closing price of Qualcomm common stock on Nov. 2, the last unaffected trading day prior to media speculation of a potential transaction.

The Broadcom proposal stands whether Qualcomm's pending acquisition of NXP is consummated on the currently disclosed terms of $110 per NXP share or the transaction is terminated. The proposed transaction is valued at approximately $130 billion on a pro forma basis, including $25 billion of net debt, giving effect to Qualcomm's pending acquisition of NXP on its currently disclosed terms.

The proposal comes after Qualcomm recently posted discouraging financial results which were negatively impacted by its ongoing dispute with Apple. Qualcomm reported revenues of $5.9 billion for Q4 2017 compared to $6.2 billion in Q4 2016 – a 5 percent drop. Qualcomm has been hit by antitrust fines, such as an $868 million fine imposed by the Korea Fair Trade Commission in the first quarter, and more.

“Our proposal provides Qualcomm stockholders with a substantial and immediate premium in cash for their shares, as well as the opportunity to participate in the upside potential of the combined company," said Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom.

"This complementary transaction will position the combined company as a global communications leader with an impressive portfolio of technologies and products. We would not make this offer if we were not confident that our common global customers would embrace the proposed combination,” Tan added.

Qualcomm's cellular business is highly complementary to Broadcom's portfolio, and the combination will create a strong, global company with an impressive portfolio of technologies and products, the company said in a press release.

Broadcom also maintains that the combined company will have an enhanced financial profile, benefiting from Broadcom's operating model with “industry-leading margins”. The combined Broadcom and Qualcomm, including NXP, will have pro forma fiscal 2017 revenues of approximately $51 billion and pro forma 2017 EBITDA of approximately $23 billion, including synergies. 

“Following the combination, Qualcomm will be best positioned to build on its legacy of innovation and invention,” said Tan. “Given the common strengths of our businesses and our shared heritage of, and continued focus on, technology innovation, we are confident we can quickly realize the benefits of this compelling transaction for all stakeholders. Importantly, we believe that Qualcomm and Broadcom employees will benefit from substantial opportunities for growth and development as part of a larger company.”

Broadcom's proposal was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Broadcom. Broadcom said it’s prepared to engage immediately in discussions with Qualcomm to work toward a mutually acceptable definitive agreement and said it’s ready to devote all necessary resources to finalize the necessary documentation on an expeditious basis.

The proposed transaction will not be subject to any financing condition, the company said. BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley have advised Broadcom in writing that they are highly confident that they will be able to arrange the necessary debt financing for the proposed transaction. 

Silver Lake Partners, which has served as a strategic partner to Broadcom in prior transactions, has provided Broadcom with a commitment letter for a $5 billion convertible debt financing in connection with the transaction. Broadcom expects that the proposed transaction would be completed within approximately 12 months following the signing of a definitive agreement.

“The Broadcom business continues to perform very well. Broadcom has completed five major acquisitions since 2013, and has a proven track record of rapidly deleveraging and successfully integrating companies to create value for our stockholders, employees and customers,” said Thomas Krause, Broadcom Chief Financial Officer.

“Given the complementary nature of our products, we are confident that any regulatory requirements necessary to complete a combination with Qualcomm will be met in a timely manner,” Krause added. “We look forward to engaging immediately in discussions with Qualcomm so that we can sign a definitive agreement and complete this transaction expeditiously.”

Published in Finance

Qualcomm disagrees with Taiwan anti-competition fine

Written on Monday, 16 October 2017 08:19

Qualcomm announced that the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) has reached a decision in a TFTC investigation, stating in a press release that certain of the company’s business practices are in violation of Taiwanese competition law and imposing a fine of approximately $23.4 billion Taiwan dollars (approximately $773 million US dollars at current exchange rates).

The TFTC claimed that “in spite of its monopoly in the baseband chip markets of cellular standards such as CDMA, WCDMA and LTE etc., [Qualcomm] refused to license chip competitors, demanded the restrictive provisions be imposed and that no chip would be provided without a license agreement executed, and entered into clauses with specific enterprises providing for rebates in exchange for exclusive dealing etc.”

According to the FTC, investigations of the present case were initiated in mid-February, 2015. Taiwan is a major country in the production and marketing of mobile phones, with a complete supply chain involving multiple facets from the manufacture of chips, mobile phone OEM, and production and marketing of mobile phone brands.

As such, the investigations at least covered a total of 20-plus enterprises, consisting of domestic and foreign manufacturers of mobile phones (including OBMs and OEMs), chip suppliers, and communication equipment enterprises.

Qualcomm said it disagrees with the decision summarized in the TFTC’s press release and intends to seek to stay any required behavioral measures and appeal the decision to the Taiwanese courts after receiving the TFTC’s formal decision, which is expected in the next several weeks.

The fine bears no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm’s revenues or activities in Taiwan, and Qualcomm will appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it, the company said in a press release.

Published in Finance

Huawei unveils first mobile AI computing platform

Written on Sunday, 10 September 2017 11:56

At IFA 2017 in Berlin, Huawei unveiled its vision for the future of artificial intelligence (AI) with the launch of the Kirin 970 chipset. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said the company is committed to turning smart devices into intelligence devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices and the cloud.

Through the Kirin 970, Huawei aims to provide a significantly better user experience, Yu said. The chipset is the “first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition,” Yu added.

“As we look to the future of smartphones, we’re at the threshold of an exciting new era.”

After years of development, Cloud AI has seen broad application, but user experience still has room for improvement in areas such as latency, stability, and privacy. The goal is for Cloud AI and On-Device AI to complement each other, Yu explained.

On-Device AI offers strong sensing capabilities that are the foundation of understanding and assisting people. Sensors produce a large amount of real-time, scenario-specific, and personalized data. Supported by strong chip processing capabilities, devices will become more cognitive of user needs, providing truly personalized and readily accessible services.

The Kirin 970 is powered by an 8-core CPU and a new generation 12-core GPU. Built using a 10nm advanced process, the chipset packs 5.5 billion transistors into an area of only one cm².

Huawei’s new flagship chipset is its first mobile AI computing platform featuring a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Compared to a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster, the Kirin 970's new heterogeneous computing architecture delivers up to 25x the performance with 50x greater efficiency.

Simply put, the Kirin 970 can perform the same AI computing tasks faster and with far less power. In a benchmark image recognition test, the Kirin 970 processed 2,000 images per minute, which was faster than other chips on the market.

New developments in AI require joint effort across the entire value chain, involving tens of millions of developers, and the experience and feedback of hundreds of millions of users. Huawei is positioning the Kirin 970 as an open platform for mobile AI, opening up the chipset to developers and partners who can find new and innovative uses for its processing capabilities.

Qualcomm says Apple spat could cost it Q4 earnings

Written on Sunday, 20 August 2017 11:13

Qualcomm’s legal spat with Apple could affect its Q4 earnings, the chipmaker disclosed in a regulatory filing seen by Reuters, where it responded to questions from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is set to issue its next quarterly results filing on November 1, revealing its earnings for the fourth quarter.

Revenue for Qualcomm’s CDMA technology business, which makes chips for smartphones including iPhones, has declined and may continue to do so, the company said, in part depending on the extent of Apple’s use of rivals’ modems and the variations of versions that are sold.

Apple has adopted a dual-sourcing approach, whereby some iPhone 7s have been shipped with Intel chips rather than Qualcomm ones, which used to be Apple’s only source.  

Apple and Qualcomm are locked in a legal battle, with the iPhone maker objecting to Qualcomm’s business model of requiring partners to sign patent license agreements before purchasing chipsets. Qualcomm is feeling the impact of Apple’s outsourcing since Apple, along with Samsung, accounted for 40 percent of Qualcomm’s revenue in fiscal 2016.

In its Q3 earnings report, Qualcomm said its legal dispute with Apple contributed to a decline of 40 percent in profit for the three months ending June 25. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said to investors on an analyst call that the spat would likely affect Qualcomm’s fiscal Q4 earnings.

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has commenced an investigation into Apple, Qualcomm recently announced, to examine whether Apple engaged in unfair trade practices by importing and selling certain mobile electronic devices, including iPhones and iPads that infringe one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Qualcomm on July 7, 2017. Qualcomm is requesting that the ITC issue a Limited Exclusion Order to bar importation, and a Cease and Desist Order to bar further sales and marketing in the United States, of iPhones and iPads that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates.

In addition to the complaint filed with the ITC, on July 7, Qualcomm filed suit against Apple Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple infringes the same six patents in the complaint filed in the ITC. Qualcomm has also sued Apple for patent infringement in Germany. That lawsuit, commenced on July 17, 2017, seeks damages and injunctive relief for iPhones imported into or sold in Germany. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei introduces premium Kirin960 chipset for Android devices

Written on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 13:32

Huawei recently announced the introduction of the premium Kirin960 chipset to provide a smoother, faster and more secure Android experience. The new Kirin960 will make its debut on Huawei’s upcoming flagship device and is the latest addition to the Kirin900 family. The chipset is the global leader for the newest commercial Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali G71 GPU, and UFS 2.1 storage. The Kirin960 also fully supports the newest graphics standard Vulkan to give users an ultrafast experience.

The revolutionary chip set will see advanced performance, improved efficiency and even more security across a wide range of applications, according to Huawei. Be it for photography, making calls, gaming or connectivity, the Kirin960 will enhance the Android experience.

With the new chipset, there is a new found balance between performance and power consumption. The Kirin960 even sets a new standard for endurance time and allows augmented reality (AR) games to be enjoyed by consumers. Beyond that, the advanced chipset supports the latest dual camera technology that mimics the human eye for faster focus and unparalleled clarity. It also supports the latest in-house smart audio solution, Hi6403 to produce HiFi voice quality.

An integrated global modem supports 4CC 600 Mbps for faster internet speeds and better performance. All main telecommunication modes fully support dual-SIM to provide seamless global roaming. The chipset supports upgraded voice calling technology to provide a face-to-face calling experience; and is the world’s first chip with finance-level security.

The latest introduction of the Kirin960 is a reflection of Huawei’s premium offerings that sees sophisticated design and simple user interface come together. As a leading technology company, Huawei earmarks more than 10 percent of its annual sales revenue to research and development efforts and has established 16 research centers around the world.

Kirin960 Specifications


Architecture: 4 x A73 + 4 x A53 + i6 + HiSEC V100


Mali G71 MP8

Support for Vulkan 1.0


UFS 2.1


Communication specifications

DL 4CC/DL 2CC + 4 x 4 MIMO, Cat.12, peak download speed of 600 Mbps,

UL 2CC Cat.13, peak upload speed of 150 Mbps

Mode/Frequency band


330 MHz to 3.8 GHz frequency bands

Dual SIM

Primary SIM + Secondary SIM: LTE + GSM, LTE + WCDMA, or more

Voice solutions

High quality Audio 2.0 (includes HD Voice+, VoLTE and VoWiFi)


  1. Color-Monochrome Dual camera technology
  2. Hybrid focusing technology
  3. PrimISP 2.0
  4. 4K video stabilization


  1. Smart audio solution Hi6403
  2. ANC active noise cancelling technology, reducing noise to -117 dBV
  3. Embedded dedicated audio DSP
  4. 4. 32 bit/192 kHz and DSD lossless formats


Security Core

HiSEC V100




Given a security IC certificate by both the China Financial National Risking Authentication(CFNRA) and China Union Pay


TSMC 16 nm FinFET Plus

Published in Devices

Four new vulnerability exploits were discovered recently on over 900 million Android smartphones, with Qualcomm chipsets found to be the root cause of the issue, according to research by Check Point, a firm dedicated to providing people with protection against digital threats. Qualcomm was notified by the researchers about the issue earlier this year, and responded by making patches available for all four vulnerabilities to customers, partners, and the open source community between April and July.

Researchers from Check Point detected the vulnerabilities affecting all Android devices running a specific Qualcomm chipset. Since the vulnerabilities are found in the software drivers Qualcomm ships with its chipsets, and since said drivers are pre-installed on devices straight out of the factory, they can only be fixed by installing a patch from the distributor or operator.

According to Check Point, the vulnerabilities, known as QuadRooter, can give attackers complete control of devices and unrestricted access to sensitive, personal and enterprise data which may be stored on the device. Check Point presented the results of its research at hacking and information security conference Defcon.

"Following recent security issues discovered in Android, Google made a number of changes to tighten security across its fragmented landscape," said Adam Donenfeld, Senior Security Researcher, Check Point. "However, Google is not alone in the struggle to keep Android safe. Qualcomm, a supplier of 80 percent of the chipsets in the Android ecosystem, has almost as much effect on Android's security as Google. With this in mind, we decided to examine Qualcomm's code in Android devices. During our research, we found multiple privilege escalation vulnerabilities in multiple subsystems introduced by Qualcomm to all its Android devices.”

Qualcomm responded to the issues discovered by Check Point by releasing patches on Code Aurora, for users to protect their devices from the vulnerabilities. The website highlights security vulnerabilities in QulC-authored KGSL Linux Graphics Module and in IPC router kernel module. The vulnerabilities were detected on all Android releases from CAF using the Linux kernel, commonly used worldwide in devices.

Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) openly acknowledges Check Point on the Code Aurora patch pages, giving thanks to Adam Donenfeld from Check Point Software Technologies “for reporting the related issues and working with QuIC to help improve device security.”

“Providing technologies that support robust security and privacy is a priority for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI),” said Qualcomm in a press statement. “We were notified by the researcher about these vulnerabilities between February and April of this year, and made patches available for all four vulnerabilities to customers, partners, and the open source community between April and July.  The patches were also posted on Code Aurora. QTI continues to work proactively both internally as well as with security researchers to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities.”

It’s not the first time Qualcomm has faced controversy surrounding its products. In October last year, rumors surfaced that Qualcomm was experiencing overheating issues with its Snapdragon 820 processor. The company also faced criticism over the overheating issues plaguing the previous Snapdragon 810. Several companies that had made plans to use the 810 processor in premium smartphones had to seek ways of getting around the heating issue themselves, or opt for other processors altogether. Qualcomm denied accusations surrounding the 820.

"The rumors circulating in the media regarding Snapdragon 820 performance are false,” said the company at the time. “The Snapdragon 820 improves on all IP blocks and is fabricated in the second generation of the 14nm process technology. It is meeting all of our specifications, but more importantly it is satisfying the thermal and performance specifications from our OEMs.”

Published in Telecom Vendors