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charlesarthur : qualcomm   37

LG's 5G phones in doubt as chip deal with Qualcomm set to expire • Reuters
Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park:
<p>In a US court filing late on Tuesday, the South Korean firm opposed Qualcomm’s efforts to put a sweeping US antitrust decision against it on hold, arguing setting the ruling aside could force it into signing another unfair deal.

“If Qualcomm does not participate in negotiations with LGE in accordance with the Court’s Order, LGE will have no option but to conclude license and chipset supply agreements once again on Qualcomm’s terms,” LG’s filing in the federal court in San Jose, California said.

The lack of clarity over a new license deal raises concerns over the rollout of LG’s newly launched 5G smartphones, crucial for the loss-making handset maker to boost flagging smartphone sales and catch up with Samsung Electronics.

“If LG Electronics fails to renew its contract with Qualcomm, it is very likely that it will not be able to make any phones since LG does not manufacture chips by itself,” BNK Securities analyst Park Sung-soon said.

“It would do catastrophic damage to its mobile business.”</p>


Quite the move by Qualcomm to insist that the court ruling is going to be reversed and so it needs to be able to sign its usual strongarm deal again. No possibility for a reversal clause in the agreement?
lg  qualcomm 
10 weeks ago by charlesarthur
How Qualcomm shook down the cell phone industry for almost 20 years • Ars Technica
Timothy Lee:
<p>I read every word of Judge Koh's book-length opinion, which portrays Qualcomm as a ruthless monopolist. The legal document outlines a nearly 20-year history of overcharging smartphone makers for cellular chips. Qualcomm structured its contracts with smartphone makers in ways that made it almost impossible for other chipmakers to challenge Qualcomm's dominance. Customers who didn't go along with Qualcomm's one-sided terms were threatened with an abrupt and crippling loss of access to modem chips.

"Qualcomm has monopoly power over certain cell phone chips, and they use that monopoly power to charge people too much money," says Charles Duan, a patent expert at the free-market R Street Institute. "Instead of just charging more for the chips themselves, they required people to buy a patent license and overcharged for the patent license."

Now, all of that dominance might be coming to an end. In her ruling, Koh ordered Qualcomm to stop threatening customers with chip cutoffs. Qualcomm must now re-negotiate all of its agreements with customers and license its patents to competitors on reasonable terms. And if Koh's ruling survives the appeals process, it could produce a truly competitive market for wireless chips for the first time in this century.</p>


The quotes in this article - taken from the court documents and testimony - are eye-opening. Charging not on the value of the patents, but on the retail value of the phone. An incredible scam. Now, there's a worthwhile piece of antitrust action. Speaking of which…
qualcomm  antitrust 
11 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Qualcomm’s practices violate antitrust law, judge rules • WSJ
Tripp Mickle, Brent Kendall and Asa Fitch:
<p>Judge Koh found that Qualcomm violated antitrust law, charging unreasonably high royalties for its patents and eliminating rivals. She challenged its practice of collecting billions of dollars by charging royalties on a percentage of a smartphone’s price.

“Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition” in key parts of the modem chip market for years, “and harmed rivals, OEMs, and end consumers in the process,” the judge wrote. She added that the company’s lead in developing modem chips for smartphones using 5G, the new generation of cellular technology, made it likely that behavior would continue.

The judge ordered that Qualcomm negotiate or renegotiate licensing agreements with customers free of unfair tactics, such as threatening to cut off access to its chips. Qualcomm also must license its patents to rival chip makers at fair and reasonable prices, and can’t sign exclusive supply agreements with smartphone makers like Apple that block rivals from selling chips into devices.

Judge Koh said Qualcomm must submit to monitoring for the next seven years to ensure it abides by the remedies.

Qualcomm on Wednesday said it plans to seek an immediate stay of the judgment and an expedited appeal to the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.</p>


I wonder if Apple is going to ask for a refund on all the money it paid Qualcomm after Intel couldn't cope with the demands of building 5G modems. But Qualcomm's tactic of charging based on the final pricing didn't work for Motorola against Microsoft on Wi-Fi patents. Couldn't work here.
qualcomm  antitrust  patents 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple held talks with Intel about buying its smartphone-modem chip business • WSJ
Tripp Mickle, Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca:
<p>The talks started around last summer and continued for months before halting recently, around the time Apple reached a multiyear supply agreement for modems from Intel rival Qualcomm Inc., QCOM +1.85% some of the people said.

Intel is now exploring strategic alternatives for its modem chip business, including a possible sale—to Apple or another acquirer, the people said. It has already received expressions of interest from a number of parties and has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage the process, which is in an early stage. Should there be a deal, it could yield as much as a few billion dollars for Intel, some of the people said.

The Intel-Apple talks, which haven’t been previously reported, reflect growing openness by the iPhone maker toward the idea of big acquisitions, people familiar with the company’s operations said. The talks also are part of broader tumult in the smartphone sector as sales growth has stalled, squeezing the iPhone business that has long driven Apple’s profits…

…Selling the modem business would allow Intel to unload a costly operation that was losing about $1bn annually, according to another person familiar with its performance. Any sale would likely include staff, a portfolio of patents and modem designs related to multiple generations of wireless technology, said Patrick Moorhead, principal at Moor Insights & Strategy, a technology firm.</p>


Entirely predictable that Apple would look at buying this. It probably decided just to hire all the useful staff instead. (Interesting that the story has a cast-of-thousands byline. Most stories like this have a single writer.)
apple  qualcomm  intel  modem 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple paid $5 billion to $6 billion to settle with Qualcomm: UBS
Kif Leswing:
<p>Apple probably paid Qualcomm between $5 billion and $6 billion to settle the litigation between the two companies, UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri estimated in a note distributed on Thursday.

Apple probably also agreed to pay between $8 and $9 in patent royalties per iPhone, estimated UBS, based on Qualcomm’s guidance that it expects earnings per share to increase by $2 as a result of the settlement.

The UBS estimate suggests that Apple paid a high price to end a bitter legal battle that spanned multiple continents and threatened Apple’s ability to release a 5G iPhone and put pressure on Qualcomm’s licensing business model that contributes over half of the company’s profit…

…Arcuri wrote that the one-time payment was likely for royalty payments that Apple had stopped paying when the two companies were embroiled in litigation, and that is how it was calculated.

The settlement is “a solid outcome for Qualcomm and certainly better than the [roughly] $5 [royalty payment] assumption we had been making,” Arcuri wrote.

If Apple does pay between $8 and $9 in royalties per iPhone it would be a significant increase over the $7.50 in royalties that it previously paid Qualcomm per phone, according to Apple COO Jeff Williams’ testimony in an FTC trial.</p>
apple  qualcomm  5g  modem 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple puts need for 5G ahead of legal fight in Qualcomm deal • Bloomberg
Ian King and Mark Gurman:
<p>Apple needs chips that will connect the iPhone to the new, fifth-generation wireless networks being introduced now or risk falling behind its rivals. The company had bet on Intel Corp., but recently decided its would-be 5G supplier wasn’t up to the task.

That led Apple back to Qualcomm - and spurred a sudden end to a long-running court fight over patents, component costs and royalties for one of the most critical parts of an iPhone. Modems, or baseband processors, are what connects all iPhones and some iPads and Apple Watches to cellular networks and the internet on the go.

Throughout the fight, which centered on Apple’s accusations that Qualcomm overcharges for patents on its technology, the iPhone maker played down the importance of the modem and Qualcomm’s inventions. Just before the settlement was announced on Tuesday, Apple’s lawyers were in a San Diego courtroom saying the component was just another method of connecting to the internet. In reality, Qualcomm’s modems are leading a potential revolution in mobile internet -- and Apple could have been forced to play catchup without them.

Intel, which dominates the market in personal computer chips, has struggled for decades in mobile. The company pledged that its 5G part was coming in phones next year. But within hours of Apple’s deal with Qualcomm, and with it the loss of its prime mobile customer, Intel announced it would end its effort to produce a 5G modem for smartphones.</p>


The deal was dated April 1 - so Apple had realised Intel's 5G efforts wouldn't bear fruit some time ago, and had probably been negotiating since February. Its only leverage was the possibility that the court case would go in its favour, but that wouldn't get the 5G part, and the clock was ticking. Apple needs the part this year for its design and testing work. So it hit a fairly hard deadline.
apple  qualcomm  5g 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm just beat Apple into submission • Semiaccurate
Charlie Demerjian:
<p>Apple was trying to cut Qualcomm down to size and marginalize them to another supplier of commodity parts. They did this by trying to build up Intel modems and even allegedly handing Intel Qualcomm’s trade secrets when the Santa Clara company could not figure out how to make a working product. For the billions Apple dumped into this enterprise, they failed because Intel, the best of the non-Qualcomm modem makers, quite literally never made a single device that met their promised specs. No we are not joking, Intel’s modem business was a mess.

How bad was it? By the end they were showing multiple versions of the same fake chip photoshopped to ‘be’ a 5G modem. Really, you can’t make this stuff up. Intel claimed release dates, specs, and all sorts of numbers but never showed actual 5G silicon, functional or not. Worse yet they never got LTE modems even close to what they promised Apple. This is Intel’s problem not Apple’s, right?

Actually it was Apple’s problem more than Intel’s. Sure Intel was ‘selling’ Apple modems with a $10 bill wrapped around each one as SemiAccurate exclusively told you last year, but finances only go so far. Remember the iPhones with 600Mbps LTE modems? You know the ones where if you put that same Qualcomm part in any other device it was a 1Gb LTE modem? Then again if you put the same Intel modem in any other device it was a 600Mbps modem, not that there were any other customers dumb enough to use that device despite the contra-revenue pricing. Apple literally crippled their Qualcomm modem to match Intel’s so the finance set would put pressure on Qualcomm.

Although both devices were the same spec on paper, the Qualcomm iPhone had 30% more throughput at than the Intel one under the same conditions. What they didn’t say and that SemiAccurate has tested in the lab is that the Intel modems used about 30% more energy to be 30% slower, something that was pretty similar to previous generations.</p>

So the implication seems to be that this year's iPhones (and mobile-capable iPads?) will also use Intel modems, but after that it's going to be Qualcomm parts. Sounds like that's good for everyone apart from Intel.
Apple  qualcomm  intel 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple violated Qualcomm patent, US trade judge rules • WSJ
Asa Fitch:
<p>A US trade judge recommended that some iPhones be barred from import on Tuesday after finding that Apple violated a patent held by Qualcomm, handing the mobile-phone chip giant a victory in its long-running feud with its erstwhile business partner.

The decision from the US International Trade Commission judge means that Apple, which has its iPhones assembled overseas before sending them to the US and other markets, could be barred from selling iPhones that infringe on a Qualcomm patent covering strategies for conserving power and improving battery life. The judge’s two-page order didn’t specify which iPhone models it covered.

The decision by ITC administrative law judge MaryJoan McNamara, however, is subject to review by the full six-member ITC as well as by the Trump administration, either of which could change the findings and reverse the recommended ban. Presidents have vetoed ITC moves before, including in 2013 when the Obama administration prevented an ITC ban on the sale of some iPhones and iPads from taking effect after Samsung Electronics Co. won a case there.</p>


Not so helpful to not specify the iPhones. But it won't be the 2018 models, since Apple now uses Intel modems.
apple  qualcomm  patent 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Yeah, Apple is probably building a modem • DIGITS to DOLLARS
Jay Goldberg:
<p>the fact that the modem team is just now moving likely means that their modem effort is still fairly nascent. There is a lot of work to be done here, especially in building out support for older wireless standards. Any modem today has to support all the existing cellular standards going back to 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE. That is a time-consuming process. Moreover, to be competitive, Apple’s modem will have to build 5G capabilities. If they are starting from scratch, it is hard to see them finishing all of that in less than a year, even at an incredible sprint. Admittedly, Apple is always full of surprises, so they probably have some clever shortcut that escapes us mere mortals, but even still, it is pretty unlikely that next year’s (2020) iPhone would have an Apple modem.

Second, this is bad news for Intel who is currently the sole source supplier for iPhone modems. Apple has been long rumored to be working on its own laptop CPU to replace Intel, and now it seems Apple is also designing out the Intel modem. We suspect that Intel will still provide something to Apple’s modem, perhaps some form of IP license or sale of software libraries to speed up the development. There is also an outside chance that Apple just buys Intel’s modem team. We have no idea if this is happening, but it would certainly speed up the hiring for Apple’s modem team.

Third, there is a possibility that this is an Apple head fake of some sort. Why did this story leak now and who leaked it? Reuters only cites “two people familiar with the move”. This does not sound like an Apple employee. The author, Stephen Nellis, covers Apple and Qualcomm, and seems to have a pretty broad contact network. So one scenario is that Apple directly leaked this story, probably as a way of ratcheting up the pressure on Qualcomm, any means necessary for World War Patents. Another scenario is that Apple’s modem team has gotten big enough that keeping it secret is just not possible anymore.</p>
apple  qualcomm  modem  intel 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple to pull some iPhones in Germany as Qualcomm extends global wins • Reuters
Jörn Poltz and Stephen Nellis:
<p>Qualcomm’s win in Germany comes weeks after it secured a court order to ban sales of some iPhone models in China. Apple, which is contesting both rulings, has continued to offer its iPhones in China but made changes to its iOS operating system in the wake of the Chinese order.

The German victory may affect only a few million iPhones out of the hundreds of millions that Apple sells each year. Still, it is a small but clear win in a complex legal battle that will spin into overdrive in the coming months as antitrust regulators and Apple both take Qualcomm to court in the United States…

…Qualcomm is not pursuing the software patents in the Chinese case in other jurisdictions and suffered an early loss while pursuing a US sales ban on the US version of the hardware patent at issue in Germany.</p>


The phones being pulled are the iPhone 7 and 8. It feels like a rerun of 2010, with the Samsung bickering.
qualcomm  apple  germany  iphone  patent 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple says iOS update will avoid Qualcomm patents, China iPhone ban • Ars Technica
Timothy Lee:
<p>On Monday, Qualcomm announced that a Chinese court had banned the sale of most iPhone models. However, Apple's newest models, the iPhone XS and XR, were not covered by the ban because they had not yet been introduced when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit late last year.
Qualcomm remedied that oversight this week, asking the same Chinese court to ban sales of the XS and XR.

But Apple isn't ready to capitulate to Qualcomm's demands. The company claims that the ruling is specific to an earlier version of iOS, iOS 11. Apple claims that the current version, iOS 12, doesn't infringe Qualcomm's patents—though Qualcomm denies this. The iPhone models mentioned in the ban continue to be available for purchase in China.

Apple has asked a Chinese court to reconsider the ban. And on Friday, Apple told Reuters it would push out a software update to work around Qualcomm's patents, clearing the way for Apple to continue selling all iPhone models in China. Apple claims that Qualcomm's patents cover "minor functionality" of the iPhone operating system.</p>


Probably won't be that easy; Qualcomm likely feels it's finally found some winning ground.
apple  qualcomm  china  patent 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm accuses Apple of giving its intellectual property to Intel • WSJ
Tripp Mickle:
<p>Under terms of their previous partnership, Qualcomm said it agreed to provide Apple with techniques, methods and software to evaluate the performance of its modems in iPhones. Those agreements gave a limited number of Apple engineers access to sensitive information, and Qualcomm said it has evidence showing Apple provided some of that information to Intel around 2016—a time when it says the iPhone maker was seeking leverage in modem-chip negotiations.

“Apple has engaged in a yearslong campaign of false promises, stealth, and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm’s confidential information,” Qualcomm said in its filing.

The allegations are an amendment to a breach of contract suit Qualcomm filed last November. In it, Qualcomm accused Apple of violating an agreement that allows the chip supplier to audit the iPhone maker’s use of its software. Qualcomm also said Apple engineers had shared some information about its technology with other Apple engineers working on competitors’ chips.

In August, Apple challenged Qualcomm’s suit in a filing, saying that after nine months of discovery the chip maker had failed to disclose evidence supporting those allegations. It asked the court to compel Qualcomm to disclose evidence.

Qualcomm’s filing Tuesday expands on the chip supplier’s prior claims by directly accusing Apple of using Qualcomm software to improve Intel’s chip performance. It also says Intel engineers complained to Apple they weren’t able to open Qualcomm files provided by the iPhone maker.</p>


This is going to be the new Apple-Samsung, isn't it.
apple  qualcomm 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm plans exit from server chips • Bloomberg
Ian King:
<p>The San Diego-based company is exploring whether to shutter the unit or look for a new owner for the division, which was working on ways to get technology from ARM Holdings Plc into the market for chips that are at the heart of servers, the person said. ARM is one of Intel’s only rivals in developing semiconductor designs, and its architecture is primarily used in less power-intensive products, such as smartphones.

Qualcomm is the largest backer of an effort to find a role for ARM designs in the highest end of the computing market, where individual chips sell for multiple thousands of dollars. Chipmakers have been trying for years to provide owners of large data centers – companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services – with processors to run them, trying to break into a business that Intel dominates with about 99 percent market share.

A Qualcomm spokesman declined to comment. In the company’s earnings report last month, Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf told analysts that Qualcomm is focused on spending reductions in its non-core product areas.

Servers, which crunch data in corporate networks and act as the backbone of the internet, are a much smaller market than phones and personal computers when measured by shipments. But the price that chipmakers are able to charge for the high-performance parts needed to run them makes the market attractive.

Qualcomm began selling a server chip, the Centriq 2400, based on ARM technology last year. At the time, the company said the chips, which were manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co., offered better results than an Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 processor, based on energy efficiency and cost. At the public introduction of the server chip line in November, potential customers such as Microsoft Corp. took to the stage to voice their interest in the offering. Since then, Qualcomm has been silent about its progress.</p>


Strange; ARM chips for servers seemed like the next big thing a few years ago. But it's gone nowhere - perhaps because it's not just about having a cooler chip.
qualcomm  server  arm 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Trump blocks Broadcom’s $142bn Qualcomm takeover • FT
Eric Platt:
<p>US president Donald Trump blocked Broadcom’s $142bn takeover bid for chipmaker Qualcomm on Monday, halting the Singapore-based group’s bitter four-month battle for its US rival.

In a statement from the White House on Monday evening, Mr Trump said the deal — the largest tech acquisition ever proposed — threatened to “impair the national security” of the US, following a recommendation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

“The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the Purchaser is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly, is also prohibited,” Mr Trump wrote in an order.</p>


The end of that, one hopes.
trump  broadcom  qualcomm 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
Broadcom's deal for Qualcomm is in jeopardy, and it might have to abandon its bid and come back later • CNBC
Alex Sherman:
<p>Broadcom's lawyers have also been looking into speeding up efforts to "redomicile," or move its legal business location, to Delaware before the Qualcomm investor vote, said two of the people. That would make Broadcom a U.S. company before Qualcomm shareholders could vote on the deal.

CFIUS reviews don't apply to domestic transactions -- when one US-based company acquires another. Broadcom, currently based in Singapore, filed on Nov. 2 to redomicile.

But the CFIUS letter and interim order probably make Broadcom's redomiciling efforts moot, said [Guillermo] Christensen [a partner at the law firm Brown Rudnick and a former CIA intelligence officer who specializes in CFIUS-related transactions]. The US Treasury's reason for involving CFIUS prior to redomiciling is specifically to get ahead of it, he said. The government would have to approve Broadcom's change of headquarters.

Instead, Broadcom may have to shelve this deal and become a US company. Then it would need to make a new offer to shareholders to potentially avoid CFIUS review, Christensen said.

"They could come in with a brand new offer, say 'we're not a foreign buyer,' and go to war with CFIUS on it," Christensen said.

There is a potential silver lining for Broadcom if it walks away from a deal. CFIUS's pre-emptive move to rule on the deal would allow Broadcom to avoid paying an $8bn break fee it promised to Qualcomm as a sweetener in case regulators blocked an accepted deal.</p>

Still can’t see any benefit to anyone broadly from Broadcom succeeding. A failure here would be just fine.
Qualcomm  Broadcom 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm rejects Broadcom’s takeover bid • WSJ
Ted Greenwald:
<p>Qualcomm rejected Broadcom Ltd.’s unsolicited $105 billion offer, setting up a potentially hostile showdown between two giants of the chip industry over what would be the biggest technology takeover ever.

A combination of the two would create a huge company whose chips manage communications for consumer devices and appliances, phone-service providers and data centers.

In a statement Monday, Qualcomm’s board said the offer, which Broadcom submitted last week, dramatically undervalues the company and comes with significant regulatory uncertainty.

Broadcom said Monday it remains committed to the deal. “We continue to believe our proposal represents the most attractive, value-enhancing alternative available to Qualcomm stockholders,” Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said in a prepared statement.</p>


Wonder how the Huawei/Apple/Samsung stuff feeds into this. Though generally, the feeling in the industry is that this would be a bad transaction. Qualcomm's better off on its own.
qualcomm  broadcom 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
Android camp reportedly seeking to renegotiate royalties with Qualcomm • Digitimes
Cage Chao and Steve Shen:
<p>The Android camp could follow the steps of Apple to temporarily suspend royalty payments to Qualcomm aiming to force the US-based chip vendors back to the negotiating table to work out "fairer" royalty schemes, according to industry sources.

In fact, Qualcomm revealed at its latest investors conference that a China-based smartphone brand has already discontinued royalty payments for the use of Qualcomm's patented technologies. Qualcommm did not identify the China client, but it is believed it is Huawei as the vendor, according to the sources.

With Huawei's smartphone shipments reaching about 150m units a year and with an ASP of US$300, Hauwei's royalty payments could account for 5-10% of Qualcomm's annual royalty income, the source noted.

Leveraging on its own base station technology and many related patents, Huawei has the bargianing chip to suspend payments to Qualcomm, the sources added.

Meanwhile, Samsung, possessing a wide range of mobile technologies and patents of its own, could also suspend its payments to Qualcomm, the sources said.</p>


If Huawei and Samsung suspended payments, Qualcomm would be in big trouble. That would be the three largest smartphone makers, all in dispute with it.

Also: quite a burial of the lede, as they say. Huawei has stopped paying Qualcomm?!
qualcomm  huawei 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
Opinion: Broadcom will kill Qualcomm • PC Magazine
Sascha Segan:
<p>"Broadcom" is actually a company called Avago, a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard that, in recent years, has spent as much time and energy buying, dismembering, cutting costs on, and selling off parts of other companies as it has inventing things. This has resulted in great financial performance, but not so much in the way of innovation. The company is run by Hock Tan, who Fortune describes as a "finance geek," not an innovator.

This isn't always a bad or a good thing, in the big picture. There's a lot of consolidation going on in the chip industry right now, and if companies can come together in a way that preserves competition and improves their ability to create great products, I'd say more power to them.

But that's not the general opinion of Avago among technology-focused analysts. On Twitter, Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy, who has three decades of knowledge about chips, says "Broadcom would slice, dice, destroy."

Anshel Sag, also at Moor, says, "Buy. Chop up. Sell off. Raise prices. Rinse. Repeat."

How about Ben Wood from CCS Insight? "Still astounded this has even got this far."

Broadcom is also doing a suspiciously shifty thing right now in moving its nominal headquarters from Singapore to the US, possibly to avoid regulatory scrutiny over this deal. On Twitter, analyst Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research says this is a "smokescreen" where "core HR/finance" will still be controlled in Singapore.

Bloomberg quotes more Wall Street-esque analysts as saying that the Broadcom buy could smooth things over with Apple (Broadcom and Apple get along) and increase revenue. But there's nary a word in there about innovation, merely about squeezing more milk out of the existing cows.

And even if Broadcom doesn't want to sell off parts of Qualcomm, it may have to. The joined company's control over Wi-Fi chipsets may be so great it would trigger antitrust scrutiny, dragging both companies down a rabbit hole as they try to shed whatever parts would maintain competition.</p>
broadcom  qualcomm 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
Broadcom offers $105bn for Qualcomm in landmark deal • Bloomberg
Ian King:
<p>Broadcom Ltd. offered about $105bn for Qualcomm Inc., kicking off an ambitious attempt at the largest technology takeover ever in a deal that would rock the electronics industry.

Broadcom made an offer of $70 a share in cash and stock for Qualcomm, the world’s largest maker of mobile phone chips. That’s a 28% premium over the stock’s closing price on Nov. 2, before Bloomberg first reported talks of a deal. The proposed transaction is valued at approximately $130bn on a pro forma basis, including $25bn of net debt.

Buying Qualcomm would make Broadcom the third-largest chipmaker, behind Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. The combined business would instantly become the default provider of a set of components needed to build each of the more than a billion smartphones sold every year. The deal would dwarf Dell Inc.’s $67bn acquisition of EMC in 2015 - then the biggest in the technology industry.</p>


Broadcom is so keen to do this that it doesn't care whether or not Qualcomm's current $47bn takeover bid for NXP completes or not. It wants Qualcomm anyway. Hard to see this sort of consolidation as good for the industry. But Singapore-based Avago, which reverse-qacuired Broadcom in 2016. is also moving its official headquarters to the US - which would make regulatory approval for the takeover a lot easier.

Trump supporters thought getting Broadcom to relocate was a coup. In fact it's a way to erode the US's supremacy in this chip space; the control of the unified company will rest outside the US.

Qualcomm, unsurprisingly, isn't keen on this deal.
qualcomm  broadcom  business 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm seeks China iPhone ban, expanding Apple legal fight • Bloomberg
Ian King:
<p>Qualcomm’s suits are based on three non-standard essential patents, it said. They cover power management and a touch-screen technology called Force Touch that Apple uses in current iPhones, Qualcomm said. The inventions "are a few examples of the many Qualcomm technologies that Apple uses to improve its devices and increase its profits,” Trimble said.

Apple said the claim has no merit. “In our many years of ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm, these patents have never been discussed,” said Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock. “Like their other courtroom maneuvers, we believe this latest legal effort will fail.”

Qualcomm made the filings at the Beijing court on Sept. 29. The court has not yet made them public.

“This is another step to get Apple back to the negotiating table,” said Mike Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity Inc. “It shows how far apart they are.”

There’s little or no precedent for a Chinese court taking such action at the request of a U.S. company, he said. Chinese regulators would also be concerned that a halt of iPhone production would cause layoffs at Apple’s suppliers such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which are major employers.</p>


Not quite sure how Qualcomm can claim that Force Touch touches (aha) its patents - if that were the case wouldn't more non-Apple phones use it? And it seems like an odd time to notice this, two years after it was introduced. But everyone reckons that if Apple loses this case, it'll settle at once.
apple  qualcomm  patents 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple and Qualcomm’s billion-dollar war over an $18 part • Bloomberg
Max Chafkin and Ian King:
<p>“Here it is,” Apple’s Sewell says, sliding a fingernail-size square covered with electrodes across a conference room table: a Qualcomm modem. “That thing sells for about $18.”

He means the chip itself, before any royalties. Qualcomm’s business model, which is either ingenious or diabolical depending on whom you talk to, is to allow any chip company to use its technology royalty-free. Phone manufacturers can choose to buy chips from Qualcomm or one of the other five companies that make modems using Qualcomm’s technology. Either way, they still have to pay Qualcomm its 5% [of the phone's retail price].

Because Qualcomm spends more on R&D than any of its peers, its modems are the most advanced. For years, Apple considered Qualcomm’s to be the only modems good enough for the iPhone. That, Sewell says, is why Apple put up with Qualcomm’s licensing scheme for years. If Apple refused to pay the royalty, Qualcomm could cut off its modem supply, forcing Apple to rely on inferior chips. That calculation changed in 2015, when Apple began working with Intel Corp. to develop a modem that was used in some versions of the iPhone 7. “What prompted us to bring the case now as opposed to five years ago is simple,” Sewell says. “It’s the availability of a second source.”

Around the same time, Apple began demanding more drastic concessions from Qualcomm. </p>


The idea that what you pay for a patent - which is some fractional part of the phone's function - depends on its final price seems bizarre. I thought Microsoft had won that case over Motorola years ago.

(Terrific "animoji" illustration at the top of the article.)
apple  qualcomm  patents 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
It's happening: Qualcomm is building fingerprint scanners that go inside your phone's screen, coming in 2018 • Android Police
David Ruddock:
<p>We've been waiting years for this moment, and it looks like Qualcomm will be the first one to deliver on our dreams: fingerprint scanners that go directly underneath your phone's display panel. At MWC Shanghai today, Qualcomm announced that it will be supplying these futuristic scanners - a new business for the company - starting in summer 2018.

Qualcomm's design utilizes the company's previously-announced ultrasonic fingerprint detection method. Because of its use of ultrasonics - as opposed to capacitance - Qualcomm says this fingerprint scanner design makes it much easier to "see" through your smartphone's display panel to take a fingerprint read... as long as it's not too thick. The catch is that Qualcomm's design will only work when implemented on an OLED panel under 1200 μm thick. That leaves LCDs out of the running.

Qualcomm's sensor can even go beyond reading fingerprints, with the ability to detect heart rate and blood flow, something a traditional capacitive fingerprint scanner really isn't capable of. And yes, it works with the screen on or off - it doesn't matter. Qualcomm says its solution will be just as quick as fingerprint scanners on modern high-end smartphones, and it even works underwater, where capacitive fingerprint scanners are basically useless. Because the sensor sits under the display panel, there's also no hole that needs to be drilled into the device to add it in anymore, making producing a waterproof smartphone even easier.</p>


One wonders if Apple is already up on this (given the persistent rumours about the next iPhone) which would mean it could have a year's lead or more, as the "summer 2018" timetable for Qualcomm means it won't be in other phones until late 2018 at the earliest.

Still: "works underwater"! Everyone wants to unlock their phone in the swimming pool. But what about leaks through the damn headphone jack?
qualcomm  fingerprint  scanner  ultrasonic 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm says BlackBerry award doesn't affect legal battle with Apple • The Motley Fool
Evan Niu on the news that Qualcomm is paying $815m, plus some legal fees (which could be substantial) to BlackBerry:
<p>The arbitration decision would seem to imply that there are situations where Qualcomm has been overcharging for royalties, as the decision sided with BlackBerry and the Canadian company will now receive a refund for those overpayments. That could suggest that Apple [which is suing Qualcomm over standard essential patent fees] has more of a case, if another licensee has won its own fight over royalty overpayments. However, Qualcomm reminded investors that these two cases are not related.

In its statement, Qualcomm noted: "The arbitration decision was limited to prepayment provisions unique to BlackBerry's license agreement with Qualcomm and has no impact on agreements with any other licensee." Qualcomm likely anticipated that there could be a tendency to connect BlackBerry's win to Apple's current lawsuits. The mobile chip giant said that the BlackBerry case revolved around a single issue on whether Qualcomm's voluntary per-unit royalty cap applied to BlackBerry's non-refundable royalty prepayments for subscriber units between 2010 and 2015.</p>


If I'm reading this correctly, BlackBerry had to pay upfront back in 2010 for the number of devices it thought it was going to sell. It sold far fewer than it expected (hello BlackBerry collapse!), and so it argued that Qualcomm owed it a rebate.

This is, as Qualcomm says, an entirely different matter from whether it has been charging Apple and its suppliers too much for the licences on its standards-essential patents (SEPs). Though I wouldn't take it as a great sign if I were Qualcomm.
qualcomm  blackberry 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple halts license payments to Qualcomm in ‘all-out war’ • Bloomberg
Ian King:
<p>Apple Inc. cut off billions of dollars in payments to Qualcomm Inc., turning a contract dispute into what one analyst called an "all-out war" that forced the chip supplier to slash forecasts given only days ago.

The world’s largest publicly-traded technology company and one of the main suppliers of components to the iPhone, its most important product, have traded accusations of lying, making threats and trying to create an illegal monopoly. The fight involves billions of dollars of technology licensing revenue that, if permanently cut off or reduced, would damage Qualcomm’s main source of profit and help bolster Apple’s margins.

Apple told Qualcomm it will stop paying licensing revenue to contract manufacturers of the iPhone, the mechanism by which it’s paid the chipmaker since the best-selling smartphone debuted in 2007, the San Diego, California-based company said in a statement. Qualcomm removed any assumption it will get those fees from its forecast for the current period. Apple doesn’t have a direct license with Qualcomm, unlike other phone makers…

…Patents controlled by Qualcomm cover the basics of all high-speed data capable mobile phone systems. It charges a percentage of the total selling price of the phone regardless of whether the device uses a Qualcomm chip or not.</p>


Qualcomm has cut its forecast for the next quarter by about $500m - just under 10% of the previous expected revenue.

The arrangement whereby the size of the patent payment depends on the end price of a device doesn't make sense to me. Functionality is functionality. I can see that it's an advantage to Qualcomm, but this also goes against <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-iphone-idUSKBN13V1XL">the principle set out in the US Supreme Court verdict - where Apple lost against Samsung</a> - that a patent's value has to be determined separately of the price of the product.
apple  qualcomm  patent 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
The Qualcomm 'Tax' Rebellion - Bloomberg Gadfly
Tim Culpan:
<p>Qualcomm's licensing model was simple. It charged a percentage of the total cost of all components in the phone. This approach had advantages for everyone involved. It meant licensees and Qualcomm didn't have to scrap over which parts of the phone did or didn't use Qualcomm technology, so they could just go ahead and focus on the more important task of developing and selling these hip new gadgets.

Qualcomm's argument was that no matter what went in the phones, they wouldn't work at all without its technology.Twenty years later, the industry has moved on. Qualcomm hasn't.

Displays, cameras, memory and even metal casings have become increasingly more expensive components of a phone, yet Qualcomm still expects to collect a "tax" on all of it no matter how much it contributes.

According to iSuppli, Apple's iPhone 7 has total component costs of $219.80 for the model with 32 gigabytes of storage. Assuming a licensing fee of 5 percent, Qualcomm receives $11 for every model Apple sells regardless of the fact that three of the most expensive items are the display (which Qualcomm doesn't make), the Apple-designed processor and the radio chips whose suppliers include Intel Corp., Broadcom Corp. and Skyworks Solutions Inc. If Apple were to increase the storage to 128 gigabytes, Qualcomm's revenue would increase accordingly despite the fact that it doesn't even make storage chips. Increase the display size (and thus the cost), Qualcomm collects. A better camera: You guessed it, more money to Qualcomm.</p>


The odd thing is that Apple went to war with Motorola over the same thing. I guess the difference is that Motorola didn't make any components - it just owned the patents.

(Of course I'll argue that Qualcomm went astray when it got rid of Eudora.)
qualcomm 
january 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple sues Qualcomm • Business Insider
<p>Apple is accusing Qualcomm of withholding $1 billion in rebates under a deal they had struck to keep Qualcomm modems in Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad.

Qualcomm held the rebates after Apple worked with Korean antitrust regulators looking into Qualcomm's licensing businesses, Apple said.

Earlier this week, the FTC accused Qualcomm of monopolistic practices directly related to its intellectual property licensing business and cited its relationship with Apple.

"Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program," Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement. 

Apple said that Qualcomm charges Apple "at least five times more in" royalty payments than all of Apple's other patent licensors combined in a statement provided to Business Insider.</p>


I haven't read Apple's complaint in detail, but BI does have a link to a Scribd version of it. The odd thing is, if Qualcomm was really overcharging, why didn't Apple take it to court? It did with Motorola over similar FRAND complaints. (One difference: Qualcomm paid Apple to make it a monopoly supplier - hence the $1bn at dispute.)
apple  qualcomm  antitrust 
january 2017 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm charged with monopolizing key semiconductor device used in cell phones • Federal Trade Commission
<p>The FTC has charged Qualcomm with violating the FTC Act. The complaint alleges that Qualcomm:

• Maintains a “no license, no chips” policy under which it will supply its baseband processors only on the condition that cell phone manufacturers agree to Qualcomm’s preferred license terms. The FTC alleges that this tactic forces cell phone manufacturers to pay elevated royalties to Qualcomm on products that use a competitor’s baseband processors. According to the Commission’s complaint, this is an anticompetitive tax on the use of rivals’ processors. “No license, no chips” is a condition that other suppliers of semiconductor devices do not impose. The risk of losing access to Qualcomm baseband processors is too great for a cell phone manufacturer to bear because it would preclude the manufacturer from selling phones for use on important cellular networks.
 
• Refuses to license standard-essential patents to competitors. Despite its commitment to license standard-essential patents on FRAND terms, Qualcomm has consistently refused to license those patents to competing suppliers of baseband processors.
 
• Extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties. Qualcomm precluded Apple from sourcing baseband processors from Qualcomm’s competitors from 2011 to 2016. Qualcomm recognized that any competitor that won Apple’s business would become stronger, and used exclusivity to prevent Apple from working with and improving the effectiveness of Qualcomm’s competitors.

The FTC is seeking a court order to undo and prevent Qualcomm’s unfair methods of competition in violation of the FTC Act. The FTC has asked the court to order Qualcomm to cease its anticompetitive conduct and take actions to restore competitive conditions.</p>


The payments to Apple constituted billions of dollars, the FTC says; but if Apple used any other baseband in any device, all payments would cease. Perhaps the FTC investigation is what let Intel get a foot in the door in some models of the iPhone 7.
qualcomm  iphone  apple  antitrust 
january 2017 by charlesarthur
Why isn’t your old phone getting Nougat? There’s blame enough to go around • Ars Technica
Andrew Cunningham:
<p>Not all of the big Android phone makers have announced their plans for the Nougat update, but if you look at <a href="http://blogs.sonymobile.com/2016/08/23/sony-xperia-and-android-7-0-nougat/">Sony’s</a> and <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/08/android-nougat-drops-support-for-nexus-5-and-2013-nexus-7/">Google’s</a> and <a href="http://www.htc.com/us/go/htc-software-updates/">HTC’s</a> official lists (as well as <a href="https://support.t-mobile.com/community/phones-tablets-devices/software-updates">the supplemental lists being published by some carriers</a>), you’ll notice they all have one big thing in common. None of the phones are more than a year or two old.

And while this is sadly the norm for the Android ecosystem, it looks like this isn’t <em>exclusively</em>the fault of lazy phone makers who have little incentive to provide support for anything they’ve already sold you. Sony, for instance, was working on a Nougat build for 2014’s Xperia Z3 and even <a href="https://developer.sony.com/develop/smartphones-and-tablets/android-n-developer-preview/">got it added to the official Nougat developer program midway through</a>, only to be dropped in the last beta build and the final Nougat release.

After doing some digging and talking to some people, we can say that it will be either <em>very difficult</em> if not <em>completely impossible</em> for any phone that uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 or 801 to get an official, Google-sanctioned Nougat update (including the Z3). And that’s a pretty big deal, since those two chips powered practically every single Android flagship sold from late 2013 until late 2014 and <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/oneplus-x-review-not-bad-for-249-assuming-you-can-actually-buy-one/">a few more recent devices to boot</a>.

This situation has far-reaching implications for the Android ecosystem. And while it can be tempting to lay the blame at the feet of any one company—Google for creating this update mess in the first place, Qualcomm for failing to support older chipsets, and the phone makers for failing to keep up with new software—it’s really kind of everybody’s fault.</p>


Though largely Qualcomm's. Not sure you can really blame Google "for creating this update mess in the first place". Updating software is what software companies do.

But this is a terrific piece of exposition of all the moving parts, and why some of them actually don't move.
android  qualcomm 
august 2016 by charlesarthur
Your smartphone camera should suck. Here's why it doesn't » WIRED
Tim Moynihan:
<p>The sensor simply senses light and converts it into an electrical signal. To use an analogy, it buys the groceries. Someone else cooks dinner. So while a high-quality sensor helps, it’s hardly the most important component. The lens is important, of course, but the biggest difference between a great camera and a good camera is the image signal processor—the secret sauce to any smartphone camera’s features and performance.

Hung says that the image sensor isn’t the only thing feeding information into the ISPs. A modern smartphone has several sensors at its disposal. “The gyroscope has evolved in terms of image stabilization,” he says. “A lot of the ISPs now can take the input from the gyroscope (and) combine that input with the image sensor to provide image stabilization. It’s a new kind of digital stabilization system.”

Apple and Samsung use their own image signal processors for the iPhone and Galaxy phones, respectively. However, many high-end Android handsets use the integrated image signal processors in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon system-on-a-chip, which keeps camera features relatively consistent from phone to phone. As good as it is, the company says the next-gen processor arriving early in 2016 will improve noise reduction, artifact correction, autofocus, and color reproduction.</p>


That last point explains a lot about so many Android phones. I wonder how many people Qualcomm has working on its ISP systems.
qualcomm  photos  smartphone 
december 2015 by charlesarthur
Teardown of new Samsung Galaxy smartphone suggests deeper loss for Qualcomm » Reuters
Se Young Lee and Noel Randewich:
Samsung is not only using its own Exynos mobile processor, as had been widely reported, but also decided to rely on its in-house semiconductor business to source other parts, including the modem and power management integrated circuit chips, Ottawa-based consultancy Chipworks said in a web posting dated April 2.

Samsung is counting on its new flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 edge phones to help revive earnings momentum after a disappointing 2014. Strong sales of system chips such as its Exynos processor could also help boost earnings, analysts and investors say.

The Galaxy S6 also comes with Samsung's Shannon modem chip, US phone carrier AT&T said on its website.

"It's pretty clear if they're using Shannon for the modem for AT&T that they're trying to use all-Samsung silicon," said Jim McGregor, an analyst at Tirias Research. "With their market share going down they're under pressure to increase profit margins."


Makes sense (and poses a problem for Qualcomm): the more Samsung-built chips are in each phone, the greater its profit. Samsung Electronics's preliminary results - its range of expected revenues and operating profit - are released on Tuesday 7 April; full results by division later in the month.
samsung  qualcomm  exynos 
april 2015 by charlesarthur
MWC: not all 4G LTE modems are created equal according to tests with Qualcomm and Samsung » Moor Insights & Strategy
Even though many modems and networks may currently only be capable of Category 4 LTE speeds (150 Mbps downlink), there are still some differences in how much those modems perform given the exact same conditions. In some cases, our testing at 20 MHz band width showed that the performance differences between Qualcomm’s and Samsung’s modems can be as big as 20%, meaning that one user can get their files 20% faster than someone else with a competitor’s phone and they are also saving power by getting that file faster and shutting down the data connection quicker.


Also finds differences in power consumption - Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 is 5-10% better there too. But Samsung benefits by buying its own modems, of course.
samsung  qualcomm  lte  4g 
march 2015 by charlesarthur
Fingerprint sensor revealed by Qualcomm at MWC » BBC News -
Qualcomm said that its sensor works by using sound waves to penetrate the outer layers of the user's finger.

The information gathered is then used to create a surface map of the person's skin including the ridges of their fingerprints and sweat pores.

By contrast, Apple and others use capacitive sensors - which make use of the human body's electrical properties - to take high-resolution scans of sub-epidermal skin below the outer layer of a user's finger.

Qualcomm suggests its method is superior because it scans through both contaminants and smartphone covers.

"Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology's unique use of ultrasonic technology revolutionises biometrics from 2D to 3D, allowing for greater accuracy, privacy and stronger authentication," said Raj Talluri, a Qualcomm executive.

One security expert agreed there were merits to the approach.

"The Qualcomm offering is a good idea, as it appears to deal with some of the issues around 'lifting' of prints from other surfaces," said Ken Munro from Pen Test Partners.
qualcomm  fingerprint 
march 2015 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm deal sparks China smartphone patent skirmishes » Reuters
From last Friday (I didn't link to it then), but as <a href="http://twitter.com/monkbent">Ben Thompson</a> points out, this element of the deal could have big implications - given that Xiaomi became China's biggest smartphone vendor in 2014:
The settlement has allowed wireless patent holders like ZTE and Huawei Technologies to seek royalties, while introducing a new risk of litigation to China's younger handset industry at a time when domestic patent law is gaining traction.

"For the first time, the settlement is forcing domestic manufacturers to recognize the value of IP (intellectual property) and consider how to use it strategically, which companies do in the West," said Wang Yanhui, secretary general of the Mobile China Alliance, an industry consortium. "That's the real significance of the (Qualcomm) settlement."

The competitive dynamics are particularly complex in China, the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer and consumer, as large Chinese telecom equipment makers that hold many essential patents for wireless technology also compete in the phone market against younger, nimbler manufacturers.

The settlement could prove tricky for companies like Xiaomi Inc, a four-year-old Beijing-based smartphone maker whose weak patent position has proved a major vulnerability. In December, a court in India temporarily halted its shipments there after Swedish telecom firm Ericsson complained Xiaomi had not been paying its royalties.

Although Xiaomi has been reported by Chinese media to be one of the handset makers now targeted by ZTE's lawyers, both companies declined to discuss the issue.

But in response to questions from Reuters, Bin Lin, Xiaomi's president, said he expects Xiaomi to only attract more patent threats and litigation from rivals in the future, as does any young firm that enjoys explosive growth.
xiaomi  china  qualcomm  patent 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm falls 9% on China competition, implies lost Samsung business >> Barrons.com
Qualcomm implied its chip has, indeed, missed the initial shipments of Samsung’s “Galaxy S6” flagship phone, expected out next month, which has been rumored in the last couple of weeks, without Qualcomm actually mentioning Samsung:
A shift in share among OEMs at the premium tier, which has reduced our near-term opportunity for sales of our integrated Snapdragon™ processors and has skewed our product mix towards more modem chipsets in this tier; Expectations that our Snapdragon 810 processor will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer’s flagship device; and Heightened competition in China.


It feels - taken together with Samsung's results - as though Samsung is aiming to use its own Exynos processors, in order to get the maximum use (and so profit) from its chip factories; if LG can get the 810 into a phone without trouble, as seems to be the case, Samsung probably can.

The other Chinese competition is principally from TSMC and Mediatek.
samsung  qualcomm 
january 2015 by charlesarthur
Xiaomi's India ban partially lifted >> Tech In Asia
Last week, Chinese phone maker Xiaomi was hit with a sales ban in India. Today, that has been partially lifted by the Delhi High Court, <a href="http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/delhi-hc-allows-xiaomi-to-sell-qualcommbased-handsets-till-january-8/article6697428.ece">reports The Hindu</a>.

Today’s ruling allows Xiaomi to sell only Qualcomm-powered smartphones in India, and only until January 8, 2015. This allows Xiaomi to sell three of the four models it had launched in India – the Redmi Note 4G, the Mi3, and the Redmi 1S. The MediaTek-powered Redmi Note remains fully banned.

This is a temporary reprieve for Xiaomi – its intellectual property battle in India is far from over. We’ve contacted Xiaomi to ask when its online sales will recommence (Update: No comment for now).
ericsson  qualcomm  xiaomi  patents  india 
december 2014 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm shoots down rumors of Snapdragon 810 delays >> Android Beat
Turns out that it was just a baseless rumor, which has now been shot down by Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Public Relations, Jon Carvill. While Carvill refused to comment on the delay or the rumor, he did say that the development on the Snapdragon 810 chip is going as per schedule.

“I can tell you that everything with Snapdragon 810 remains on track and we expect commercial devices to be available in 1H 2015,” said Carvill.


Okey-doke.
qualcomm  android  snapdragon 
december 2014 by charlesarthur
Unexpected hurdle: problems in Qualcomm Snapdragon set alarm bells ringing for Samsung, LG >> BusinessKorea
Local [Korean] smartphone makers are nervous at the prospect of a delay in the launch of new models next year, including the Galaxy S6 and the G4. It is unclear whether or not the supply of the Snapdragon 810 will exist in the first half of next year due to technical problems such as overheating and a decline in speed.

Samsung is likely to solve the problem by featuring its own Exynos chips in the Galaxy S6, but LG seems to be in trouble. Even though the company has its first AP, NUCLUN, it is not better than entry-level APs. If Qualcomm cannot supply the Snapdragon 810, it won't be easy for LG to find an alternative for the G4.

“Qualcomm is faced with hard-to-solve problems. The Snapdragon 810 overheats when it reaches a specific voltage. It also slows down owing to problems with the RAM controller connected to the AP. In addition, there is an error in the driver of the Adreno 430 GPU,” said an industry source on 2 December.

The source added that for these reasons, it is unclear if the Snapdragon 810 will be used in premium smartphones like the Galaxy S6, the G4, and the Xperia Z4 scheduled to be released in the first half of next year.
samsung  qualcomm  snapdragon  manufacture  processor 
december 2014 by charlesarthur

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