Low-end SoCs intended for emerging LTE markets, areas still locked into 3G service
Instead of ushering in a new high-end, power packed chips, system-on-chip (SoC), maker Qualcomm announced this week that it's releasing two new processors aimed at the entry-level device market. The new processors, branded the Snapdragon 210 and 208, are being made to help the spread of sub-$100 devices in growing LTE markets, while also continuing to support areas on the verge of moving past 3G.
Two-prong filings with FTC and courts seek injunction, damages
Graphic processor manufacturer Nvidia has filed suit against Qualcomm and Samsung, accusing both of patent abuse. In a conference call about the suit, Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said that "they're using our technology for free in their devices today and they're shipping an enormous number of devices." Nvidia is seeking a sales and importation embargo on Samsung devices using PowerVR architectures, as well as anything using a Qualcomm graphical chipset.
Smartwatch from Timex includes messaging, emergency texting
Watch manufacturer Timex is attempting to enter the smartwatch market, by collaborating with Qualcomm and AT&T. The Ironman One GPS+ aims to provide typical smartwatch and GPS running watch functions, though instead of relying on a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone for data, it will instead use its own cellular connection.
Reasons for possible reversal unclear
TSMC will probably lose chip production orders from Apple and Qualcomm to Samsung in the second half of 2015, says KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, quoted by Reuters. Liu made the comments in a memo issued after a TSMC investor conference. The Commercial Times and the Economic Daily News both suggest that Qualcomm has in fact already started working with Samsung, a claim which has hurt TSMC shares in trading.
First 64-bit Samsung release could be entry-level smartphone
A Samsung smartphone with a 64-bit processor has been spotted in benchmarks. GFXBench 3.0 benchmarks for a device with the model number SM-G510F show it as running Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 processor, a low-powered 64-bit chip launched late last year, and suggests the company could be preparing for a more formal launch of 64-bit devices in the future.
Computex Taipei reveals massive interest in wearable technology
A lot has been written about the potential explosion in the wearable computing segment, with 2014 expected to be a watershed year. Electronista was on hand at the Computex Taipei 2014 Qualcomm keynote on wearables to highlight what it thinks is going to be the a massive opportunity for the company and its technology platforms. With technology moving quickly, no one wants to arrive late to the party and miss out on what could be the next booming market segment. Yet at the same time, there are plenty of sceptics who question just how much potential there is in the segment given that computing wearables are just another device that will require recharging, while many people have long abandoned their watches in favor of just using their smartphones. Qualcomm, however, believes it has done the research and can hit the sweet spot for usability and wearability.
Cellular division loses to blame, cash savings will go to other chip projects
Today, Broadcom has announced it is looking for an exit from the baseband chip market. The company released a statement saying that they are "exploring strategic alternatives for its cellular baseband business, including a potential sale or wind-down." Leaving the baseband business could mean a large cost savings for the company, as well as moving out of a market dominated by Qualcomm.
Snapdragon 805 could help device producers with advanced photography features
The upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 will enable more mobile device manufacturers to offer depth-sensing dual-camera systems in their devices, according to a report. Senior director for cameras and imaging Tim Yates revealed Qualcomm is working on a reference design that would make it easier to create smartphones and tablets with similar photographic abilities to the HTC One M8.
Deal to be finalized over $300 million purchase price, operations to move to Haifa
Chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has entered into talks with Israeli-based chip maker Wilocity over the finalization of a deal that would purchase the WiGig company for around $300 million. Wilocity had previously raised $105 million in venture capital funding with Qualcomm as one of its investors.
Technology too 'notoriously difficult'
Apple's suspected movements towards in-house baseband development are unlikely to bear any fruit in new iPhones until 2015 at the earliest, says JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall. Baseband chips are said to be "notoriously difficult" to develop. As evidence he refers to Broadcom, which despite being the source of some of Apple's recent hires, struggled to develop an LTE modem.
Apple allegedly aiming at 65 million iWatches by end of year
The Apple iWatch will ship in the third quarter of the year and be manufactured by Quanta Computer, claims Taiwan's Economic Daily News, as quoted by Digitimes. Two other companies, Richtek and TPK, will reportedly be supplying chips and sapphire touch panels. The watch's processor is expected to be developed by Apple, but manufactured by Samsung, which currently handles all iOS processor production. Apple is said to be aiming at having 65 million iWatches assembled by the end of 2014.
New Snapdragon processors set to be used in mobile devices in early 2015
Qualcomm has revealed its next generation of mobile processors in the Snapdragon 800 range. The Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 808, set to appear in mobile devices in 2015, both use Qualcomm's fourth-generation Cat 6 LTE Advance multimode modem with support for 3x20MHz carrier aggregation, potentially allowing for connection speeds as high as 300Mbps.
New chipset allows for better communication in congested environments
Semiconductor solutions provider Broadcom today introduced the industry's first 5G Wi-Fi (802.11ac) 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphones. The Broadcom BCM4354 SoC will enable manufacturers to deliver twice the Wi-Fi performance of 1x1 MIMO devices used in smartphones today while improving system power efficiency up to 25 percent when using wireless applications.
OEM program, cheaper parts to attract more developers and markets
With the announcement of the next Windows Phone update coming later this year, Microsoft has teamed with Qualcomm in order to expand access to phone creation during a session at Mobile World Congress. The company is pushing to bring the cost of their phones down to appeal to lower-priced markets in hopes of attracting more partners.
HTC smart watch will be shown privately at Mobile World Congress
HTC will be showing part of a collection of smart watches behind closed doors at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. Bloomberg claims the company will use the trade show to demonstrate two prototype watches, one of which is apparently based on the Qualcomm Toq offering the same low-powered Mirasol display, Bluetooth connectivity, and music playback functionality.
1,400 US patents and applications bought by Qualcomm
Processor producer Qualcomm has acquired a considerable haul of patents from HP, including some originally from the portfolios of iPAQ, Bitfone, and Palm. Though the sale price was not revealed by the company in a statement, it did reveal that the purchase includes approximately 1,400 granted patents and pending applications from the United States, and another 1,000 from other countries.
Formula E race car makes first public demo in Las Vegas
The CES in Las Vegas hosted the first public showing of the FIA Formula E race car. The series, which kicks off in this September in Beijing, will feature 10 teams competing for the championship on city courses throughout the world, with the cars powered entirely by electric motors.
Injection molding process allegedly to blame
Several wearable electronic devices -- namely the Apple iWatch and the Qualcomm Toq -- are seeing yield rates below 50 percent in manufacturing, supply chain sources claim. The trouble is said to involve surface treatments for metal injection-molded (MIM) chassis. While MIM used to be applied to internal designs, MIM is increasingly being used for external parts as well, requiring extra surface work. This appears to be at odds with the high quantities companies like Apple are demanding.
Unveiling set off panic at Qualcomm
Apple reportedly "stunned" chipmakers when it introduced the iPhone 5s' A7 system-on-chip (SoC) in September, as the first company to embrace 64-bit architecture for mobile platforms. In a HubSpot blog post from Dan Lyons, which was spotted by AppleInsider, an unnamed source within Samsung noted that Apple's announcement was widely downplayed by competitors "but it set off panic in the industry."
Bluetooth LE continues retail push
Less than a week after Apple began deploying its iBeacon technology inside US retail stores, Qualcomm has launched its own alternative. Known as Gimbal, Qualcomm's proximity beacons also take advantage of low-power Bluetooth LE to help retailers optimize their smartphone-enhanced shopping experience as customers move throughout a store.
Platform for interconnected devices based on Qualcomm Toq app software
A group of companies have banded together to help foster the adoption of interconnected devices, also known as the "Internet of Things" or the "Internet of Everything." Announced by the Linux Foundation, members of the AllSeen Alliance hope to work together on building a software platform for all of the devices to connect and communicate across.
New chipset allows for inexpensive worldwide 4G handset
Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon 410 chipset with integrated 4G LTE World Mode. The new Snapdragon 410 chipsets are manufactured using a 28nm process technology and feature processors that are 64-bit capable -- the first since Apple leapfrogged its rivals with the 64-bit A7 -- along with accelerated graphics performance with the Adreno 306 GPU, 1080p video playback, and up to a 13 megapixel camera. Snapdragon 410 chipsets integrate 4G LTE and 3G cellular connectivity for all major modes and frequency bands across the globe and include support for Dual and Triple SIM.
Mirasol smart watch could ship long after original December 2 target
Qualcomm has opened up pre-orders for its Toq smartwatch, ahead of its December 2nd shipping date. The smart watch now appears in the Qualcomm online store as available to buy, though the component producer does advise that the device will be shipping "within 1-3 weeks," meaning that some customers may face a considerable wait for their order.
Chip supports 4K recording, local playback, output to TV
Qualcomm has introduced its next-generation flagship Snapdragon processor, which brings support for Ultra HD features. The Snapdragon 805 is said to be capable of recording 4K video from the device's integrated camera, with support for 4K stream decoding and playback on a high-resolution mobile display or via a connected 4K television.
Toq smartwatch uses low-power Mirasol display, boasts multi-day battery life
Qualcomm will be releasing its own interpretation of the smart watch at the beginning of next month. The Qualcomm Toq uses a low-power Mirasol display, something which will help the always-on device to have what is claimed by the company to be "multiple days of battery life," while also remaining visible in bright sunlight.
Uses single LTE chipset for all US carriers
In spite of shifting to more advanced components, the iPad Air is actually cheaper to build than the third-generation iPad was, according to a teardown by IHS iSuppli. The cost is estimated to be between $274 and $361 per unit, depending on the exact configuration. The base cost is $42 less than it was for the third-gen iPad. One contributing factor is the A7 processor, which while costing $18 per unit, is still $5 less than an A5 processor was 18 months ago.
Qualcomm may team with equity firm on BlackBerry buy
Qualcomm may be in talks to partner with Cerberus Capital Management to enter a bid to take over struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry. A report in The Wall Street Journal pegs the chipmaking giant and the private equity firm as latest parties to be considering a takeover of BlackBerry, which has been stuck in a downward spiral in the face of tough competition from Apple and manufacturers of devices running Google's Android operating system. The deal would lash Qualcomm tighter to one of its customers, as BlackBerry already relies on Qualcomm to supply chips that go into its underperforming smartphones.
Says industry 'moving in the direction of 64-bit'
Qualcomm's PR department has issued a statement retracting a recent jab at Apple's A7 processor, made by chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher. In an interview with IDG News last week, Chandrasekher called the A7's 64-bit architecture a "marketing gimmick," arguing that it has little to no benefit for the public at the moment. "Predominantly ...you need it [64-bit] for memory addressability beyond 4GB [the iPhone 5s has 1GB of RAM]. That's it. You don't really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications."
ITC complaint victory by Nokia forces changes in HTC One, others
HTC is being forced to change the design of the HTC One yet again, along with other devices in its range, in order to avoid more legal trouble from Nokia. Following the first stage victory of Nokia in its ITC complaint against HTC, the manufacturer is now working on a way to improve the HTC One's radio components, without infringing on Nokia's patents.
Cross platform development expected, SDK released before end of 2013
At Qualcomm's Uplinq event held earlier today, the company announced media streaming protocol Qualcomm AllPlay. The new effort by Qualcomm is a cross-platform streaming solution to make it simple for "media equipment makers and content providers to deliver wireless streaming of local and cloud-based content across brands or platforms enabled by the AllPlay solution" according to the company.
Toq compatible with Android 4.0.2 and up, available later in 2013
Qualcomm Connected Experiences, a division of Qualcomm, today announced that it will release a smartwatch sometime in the fourth quarter of 2013. Designed to serve as a second display to a smartphone, the Qualcomm Toq ('talk') smartwatch will feature the new Qualcomm Mirasol display technology, a reflective, low-power display that enables an always-on viewing experience, wireless charging by Qualcomm WiPower LE technology, and stereo Bluetooth audio, all while offering its wearer long battery life with seamless connectivity to their smartphone.
Technology companies working on cheaper Internet access plans
A group of technology companies have grouped together to launch a new initiative to bring Internet access to parts of the global population that do not have it. The collective, consisting of Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung and led by Facebook, launched Internet.org and will work together on projects to provide access to those without an Internet connection.
Previously showed 1.5-inch always-on Mirasol display panel for watches
Qualcomm has registered a new trademark, relating to smart watches. The filings for Qualcomm TOQ, on June 26th and July 17th of this year, suggest that the chip producer is looking into either making components or complete smart watches in the future, bringing it in line with other manufacturers believed to be creating their own.
Floorplan data for over 50,000 buildings in 69 countries passed to Qualcomm
Nokia is working with Qualcomm on solving the indoor mapping problem, by supplying its collection of floor plans and indoor map data. Qualcomm will use the venue maps with its IZat indoor location system to improve its overall accuracy, in order to locate mobile devices to within three to five meters (10 to 16 feet) inside a building.
Three storage capacity options, 2GB RAM, 8MP camera on 8.9-inch model touted
Amazon will be using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors in the next generation of Kindle Fire HD tablets, according to a report. Sources state that the quad-core Qualcomm processors, clocked at around 2GHz, will be supported by 2GB of RAM in both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions of the tablet, and would bring the mobile device range in line with the more recent versions Google, Samsung, and Apple tablets.
Three to five similar deals to follow miniature base station agreement
Qualcomm has signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent to work together on creating small base stations for phone networks. The deal, which involves Qualcomm gaining a five-percent stake in Alcatel-Lucent in exchange for around 100 million euro ($132.8 million) in research funding, could help turn around the telecom equipment manufacturer's troubling finances.
Position has some political support
The BSA -- a group representing technology companies like Oracle, Intel, and Microsoft -- has taken a position against banning products based on infringements of standards-essential patents, a Wall Street Journal article notes. The move appears to have been spurred by a possible ITC ban of some older AT&T-model iPhones and iPads. Samsung scored the ruling in a complaint against Apple.
Next-gen ARM-based chips ramping to 3GHz in 2014
ARM processors will be ramping clock speeds to 3GHz in 2014, a statement by the company reveals. Currently, its high-end chip designs for 2013 are being fabricated on a 28nm process. Chips like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and the Nvidia Tegra 4i, built using ARM designs, are fabricated on a 28nm process with clock speeds hitting a ceiling of 2.3GHz.
Sony Xperia Z set to add Snapdragon 800 CPU in mid-cycle upgrade?
Although the Xperia Z powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro has yet to officially arrive in the US, serial Russian smartphone leaker Eldar Murtazin has tweeted that he has already been testing an upgraded Xperia Z prototype running the new Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU. According to Murtazin, the upgraded Xperia Z is “really fast,” while he also says the screen appears to be an upgraded LCD3-type, like the much praised display on the HTC One. However, Murtazin is not convinced that Sony will necessarily use this display when it goes into production.
Snapdragon 800 claimed to have 75-percent more performance than S4 Pro
LG will be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor in a future replacement for the manufacturer's Optimus G series of smartphones. The change in processor is an upgrade from the earlier Snapdragon chips used in earlier Optimus G devices, with LG claiming it to have "up to 75-percent better performance" than the Snapdragon S4 Pro.
Nvidia to remain supplier for some versions of Surface
Microsoft is working on a version of its Surface RT slate computer that uses a Qualcomm processor, according to a report. The change in chip comes at the same time as Microsoft drops the price of the tablet for educational users, in what appears to be a clear-out of current Surface RT stock ahead of a device refresh.
Mirasol prototype screen measuring 5.1 inches offers 577ppi pixel density
Qualcomm has shown it is still working on Mirasol displays, by demonstrating a prototype screen at SID Display Week in Vancouver, Canada. The 5.1-inch display had a resolution of 2560x1440, giving it a pixel density of 577 pixels per inch, and was accompanied by a 1.5-inch panel used in an "always-on" smartwatch.
Tegra 4 scores 32000 points on AnTuTu benchmark
Nvidia’s forthcoming Tegra 4 chip may have received an early benchmark if an AnTuTu score that has been posted online is to be believed. According to the post, the Tegra 4 produced a score of over 32,000 points, outgunning the 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 found in the Samsung Galaxy S4. By comparison, the Galaxy S4’s Snapdragon chip produces a score of 25,000 points, while the HTC One with the same Snapdragon chip clocked at 1.7GHz scores 23,600 points.
Industry luminary also serves on Amazon board
Qualcomm today announced the election of Jonathan Rubinstein to its Board of Directors. Rubinstein brings more than 30 years of experience in the mobile, computing and consumer electronics industries to the position, including a tenure at Apple in which he was referred to as "The Podfather" for his role on the iPod team. He last served as Senior Vice President of Product Innovation for Hewlett-Packard until January 2012.
Follow-on from Snapdragon 600 to offer 2.3GHz clock speed, 4K playback
Qualcomm is preparing to put the Snapdragon 800 processor into mass production, starting in late May. The system-on-chip follows on from the highly sought-after Snapdragon 600, which has been used in such devices as the LG Optimus G Pro and reportedly had "strong traction" in recent quarterly results, and promises to provide a significant speed boost compared to its 1.7GHz predecessor.
Dividend payout greatest in company history, $5 billion in buyback planned
Chip designer Qualcomm has filed its second quarter of 2013 fiscal earnings. The company exceeded revenue expectations, and is raising its estimated 2013 device shipments and projected earnings for 2013 based on the strength of the quarter. Year over year, Qualcomm saw a 24 percent increase in revenues to $6.12 billion from $4.94 billion. Earnings per share climbed 16 percent tp $1.17 per share, up from $1.01 in 2012.
Tablet to switch from Nvidia to Qualcomm processor
Google is said to be launching a revised Nexus 7 tablet by July, according to a report. The new tablet will apparently replace the Nvidia Tegra 3 inside the current generation with a Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, citing a reduction in power consumption, as well as having a higher resolution screen and thinner bezel, and may also cut the price down to $150.
Sharp to fail in defining display specifications in time, $60M delayed
A $60 million payment to Sharp from Qualcomm as part of an investment agreement has been delayed, due to a looming deadline set to be missed. The second half of the $120 million deal had a number of requirements in order to be paid on time, including making an operating profit in the second half of its financial year, holding net assets worth at least 100 billion yen ($1.05), and to prepare for the production of new display panels, requirements which Sharp has failed to accomplish.
Four cores clocked at faster speed than 'octo-core' version
Chip manufacturer Qualcomm confirmed on Friday that the US version of the recently announced Galaxy S 4 smartphone will come with a 1.9Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, rather than the "octo-core" 8/4 processor Exynos 5 chip used in the international versions. The move is similar to the situation with the Galaxy S III, which in the US is a dual-core processor, with a quad-core model internationally.
Would mark unusual course reversal for Apple
Apple is planning to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in the low-cost iPhone, and manufacture it using TSMC's 28nm production lines, claims an industry watcher quoted by the China Times. The move would be unusual, since Apple currently relies on its own A-series processors for iOS devices, which are produced at a Samsung facility in Texas. The Times' report does say, though, that Apple will continue to use A-series chips in other devices.