Tag: Qualcomm

Qualcomm swings handbag at Apple

Chipmaker Qualcomm has replied to the fruity, tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple’s allegation that it has been playing monopoly by swinging a handbag of its own.

It claimed that the iPhone maker breached agreements with the firm and encouraged regulatory attacks on its business in various jurisdictions around the world by making false statements.

Apple had filed the lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of overcharging for chips and refusing to pay some $1 billion in promised rebates. The lawsuit came days after the US government accused the chipmaker of resorting to anticompetitive tactics to maintain a monopoly over key semiconductors in mobile phones.

In a statement, Qualcomm said that Apple has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable licence terms from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm filed counterclaims to Apple’s lawsuit with the US District Court for the Southern District of California.

The chipmaker said in the statement that Apple interfered in its agreements with licensees that manufacture iPhones and iPads.

Qualcomm also said Apple threatened it in an attempt to prevent it from making any public comparisons about the superior performance of the Qualcomm-powered iPhones, and misrepresented performance differences between iPhones using Qualcomm modems and those using competitor-supplied modems.

Apple has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm in Beijing, alleging the chip supplier abused its clout in the chip industry and seeking $145.32 million in damages.

Qualcomm defends its licensing and bottom line

siege_of_Troy_2Chipmaker Qualcomm has reported a lower than expected 3.9 percent rise in quarterly revenue and defended its licensing model.

The US Federal Trade Commission and Apple have sued Qualcomm accusing it of resorting to “anticompetitive” tactics to maintain a monopoly over chips used in smartphone.

The Apple tactic appears to be designed to force Qualcomm to reduce its already discounted pricing by jumping on the bandwagon of anti-trust actions in the US and Korea.

The fruity cargo cult also filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm in Beijing, alleging that the chip supplier abused its clout and is seeking $145.32 million in damages.

Qualcomm executives firmly defended the company’s licensing model on its quarterly conference call, and said its revenue forecast did not include any impact from the dispute with Apple.

Qualcomm president Derek Aberle said that Apple’s attack on Qualcomm’s business model is not only an attack on Qualcomm, but also an attack on the smartphone competition that Qualcomm’s business model enables.

Qualcomm said it expects to continue to supply to Apple during the dispute, and that the company’s contracts with the iPhone maker’s suppliers were still valid.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.20 per share and revenue of $5.90 billion so they are slightly disappointed.

Revenue rose to $6 billion from $5.78 billion, but missed analysts’ estimate of $6.12 billion.

Qualcomm’s shares have risen nearly 20 percent in the past 12 months, compared with the 62.1 percent gain in the broader Philadelphia Semiconductor index.

FTC sues Qualcomm for antitrust antics

monopoly (1)The US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm saying that the outfit had used “anticompetitive” tactics to maintain its monopoly on a key semiconductor used in mobile phones.

The FTC said that Qualcomm used its dominant position to impose “onerous” supply and licensing terms on smartphone manufacturers and to weaken competitors.

Qualcomm said in a statement that it would “vigorously contest” the complaint and denied FTC allegations that it threatened to withhold chips to collect unreasonable licensing fees.

The action is the last under current Democratic Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who will step down soon after President Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump takes office.

Trump will name Republican Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen as acting FTC chairwoman and will fill three vacancies that will reshape the agency. She has previously said that the lawsuit was based on a “flawed legal theory … that lacks economic and evidentiary support”.

In its complaint, the FTC said the patents that Qualcomm sought to license are standard essential patents, which means that the industry uses them widely and they are supposed to be licensed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The FTC complaint also accused Qualcomm of refusing to license some standard essential patents to rival chipmakers, and entering an exclusive deal with Apple.

“Qualcomm’s customers have accepted elevated royalties and other license terms that do not reflect an assessment of terms that a court or other neutral arbiter would determine to be fair and reasonable,” the FTC said in its complaint.

In February 2015, Qualcomm paid a $975 million fine in China following a 14 month probe, while the European Union in December 2015 accused it of abusing its market power to thwart rivals.

 

Samsung wants to sell 10 million S8 phones

SamsungSamsung has set an initial production target of 10 million Galaxy S8 smartphones.

Samsung is counting on the S8 to rejuvenate sales after it scrapped the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones last year in one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history. The phone will go head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone 8 which is being touted as everything the iPhone 7 should have been.

The newspaper said the world’s top smartphone maker would start production in March and planned to start selling them in April. Galaxy S7 phones went on sale in March last year.

Leaks about the S8 indicate the phone will be rather special, if expensive. For a start it will come with the latest AI features and Qualcomm’s new 10nm Snapdragon chip.

To push it, Samsung must prove that it does not feature the mistakes of the Note 7. So far no one knows for certain what those faults were, but it would appear to have been too thin for the larger battery.

Samsung has denied anything which has been written about the S8 but fortunately the Far Eastern companies leak like a Welsh tin bath.

 

Qualcomm details Snapdragon 835 processor

game-of-thrones-daenerys-dragonQualcomm has detailed its new Snapdragon 835 processor, which will power most of the leading Android smartphones this year.

Qualcomm SVP Keith Kressin said that the 835 was powerful enough to give AR and VR markets a kick up the bottom and could cause some serious problems for Chipzilla.

It has a Kryo 280 CPU under the bonnet but Qualcomm really is not talking much about that as it is the rest of the gubbins on the chip.

Qualcomm claims it is the first 10nm mobile processor, which will improve efficiency, and also by saying the CPU is “tightly integrated” with other components using the new Symphony system manager, which operates automatically yet can be customized by application developers.

This distributes work across the CPU, GPU, DSP, and more exotic components, letting the Snapdragon 835 work better than it would with CPU alone.

What will put the fear of Jehovah into Intel is that this is the first Qualcomm chip which can run Windows 10 on a mobile phone.

The Snapdragon 835 consumes 25 percent less power than the 820, according to Qualcomm. That means seven hours of 4K streaming video and two hours of VR gaming on a typical device, the company said.

Qualcomm can only do so much on power efficiency, it’s also introducing Quick Charge 4, which supposedly charges a phone to five hours of use in five minutes and is USB-C power delivery compliant.

The new Adreno 540 graphics chip improves 3D performance by 25 percent over the previous generation, Qualcomm said. But it enables features like HDR10, which improves colours; foveated rendering, which most clearly renders what you’re looking at rather than elements in the periphery of a scene; and low latency, which allows you to move your head smoothly around VR scenes. With one 32MP or two 16MP cameras running at the same time, the Snapdragon 835 supports various dual-camera functions.

The Snapdragon 835 will feature the X16 modem, which Qualcomm announced earlier this year and will be able to boost LTE to gigabit speeds. It has triple 20MHz carrier aggregation with 256-QAM encoding and 4×4 MIMO antennas.

We are predicting a rather good year for Qualcomm, when Vole gets its new Surface phones out later in the year.  This phones will be basically portable Windows 10 PCs and play nice with corporate networks.

Qualcomm faces $854 million for anti-trust

monopoly (1)South Korea’s antitrust watchdog has bitten a $854 million chunk from Qualcomm’s bottom line claiming the chipmaker used unfair business practices in patent licensing and modem chip sales.

Qualcomm said that it will appeal the decision which would be the largest ever levied in South Korea.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission which is very nearly the unfortunate acronym of a US fried chicken outfit  (KFTC) ruled  Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and forced handset makers to pay royalties for an unnecessarily broad set of patents as part of sales of its modem chips.

Qualcomm also restricted competition by refusing or limiting licensing of its standard essential patents related to modem chips to rival chipmakers such as Intel, Samsung  and MediaTek , the regulator said, hindering their sales and leaving their products vulnerable to lawsuits.

The regulator ordered Qualcomm to negotiate in good faith with rival chipmakers on patent licensing and renegotiate chip supply agreements with handset makers if requested – measures that would affect the U.S. firm’s dealings with major tech companies including Apple, Intel, Samsung and Huawei if upheld.

The KFTC said it began its investigations into Qualcomm’s practices in 2014 following complaints from industry participants, but did not name specific companies.

Foreign companies including Apple, Intel, MediaTek and Huawei expressed their views during the regulator’s deliberation process, KFTC Secretary General Shin Young-son told a media briefing in the country’s administrative capital.

Qualcomm said it will file for an immediate stay of the corrective order and appeal the decision to the Seoul High Court. The firm will also appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it.

“Qualcomm strongly disagrees with the KFTC’s announced decision,” it said in a statement.

While the fine is big, analysts said that the KFTC’s orders for Qualcomm to alter its business practices have bigger future implications for the chipmaker. The ruling forces the company to license patents for some of its chips to rivals such as Intel, which has been competing hard to land its modem chips in mobile phones.

 

Qualcomm spends $47 billion to buy NXP Semiconductors

qualcomQualcomm is writing a $47 billion cheque for NXP Semiconductors in a move which will help it to expand into new industries and become less dependent on  smartphone chips.

NXP is the biggest supplier of chips used in the automotive industry. The deal will be funded with cash on hand as well as new debt.

The deal is the largest in the chip industry’s history and the Dutch outfit is NXP is strong in that sector following its acquisition last year of Freescale Semiconductor.

Qualcomm supremo Steve Mollenkopf said it was no secret that that the company has  been looking around.

“If you look at our growth strategy it’s to grow into adjacent markets at the time that they are being disrupted by the technology of mobile.”

He claimed that the two companies, which will have combined revenue of more than $30 billion, will have products that are capable of winning sales in markets worth $138 billion by 2020. Qualcomm forecast $500 million of annual cost savings.

The equity value of the transaction is $38.5 billion. Including debt, the enterprise value goes up to $47 billion.

Chief Financial Officer George Davis said the acquisition will add $11 billion of debt to Qualcomm’s balance sheet, which can rapidly improve by using the overseas cash it generates to pay down.

Mollenkopf said he will aim to combine the two companies and their products as quickly as he can and make sure that the management of the combined company has representatives from both sides.

Mollenkopf has more than $30 billion in cash reserves, most of which is held overseas.

NXP is projected to report 2016 sales of $9.48 billion, the average of analysts’ estimates from data compiled by Bloomberg.

By revenue, that makes it less than half the size of Qualcomm, which will report sales of $23.2 billion this year. The Dutch company has averaged about 11 percent growth over the past three years, while the U.S. chipmaker’s sales declined 5 percent last year, a collapse from a revenue increase of 30 percent in 2013.

Qualcomm asks for Chinese court help

qualcomQualcomm wants a Chinese court to get a local smartphone maker, Meizu, to agree to licensing terms for patents that the company broadly agreed to with the Chinese government last year.

The chip company s has asked the Beijing Intellectual Property Court for a ruling that the terms of a patent licence it offered Meizu comply with China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, and the US company’s “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing obligations.”

Qualcomm alleges that Meizu in Zhuhai is refusing to sign the patent agreement although over 100 players, including top Chinese phone makers, have accepted the terms under a new rectification plan agreed with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last year.

Meizu has more than 1,000 employees and sells its smartphones through 600 retail stores. It claims a global presence in Hong Kong, Russia, Israel and Ukraine, according to its website.

Last year, Qualcomm paid a $975 million fine to Chinese authorities for alleged monopolistic business practices relating to its patent licensing business. It also agreed to modify its business practices.

The outfit has been doing its best building its bridges in China, including by setting up a server chipset design and sales unit with the Guizhou provincial government.

The company has also announced other collaborations in the country that would help it gain access to the local market, including for the local production of its Snapdragon mobile processors by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.

Qualcomm charged Meizu with “unfairly expanding its business through the use of Qualcomm’s innovations without compensating Qualcomm for the use of Qualcomm’s valuable technologies.” It added that Meizu’s move to use the technologies without a license was also unfair to other licensees.

 

Qualcomm releases Connected Car Platform

accidentcarinwashingtondcQualcomm has released its Connected Car Reference Platform, which is designed for the car industry to build prototypes of the next-generation connected car.

If carmakers go for it, Qualcomm could make itself a pretty penny as cars are supposed to get more intelligent, even as their owners lose brain cells.

While the package does not seem there yet, as autonomous steering and collision avoidance features were missing, on-board specialised processors, in addition to new capabilities are all there.

Qualcomm will probably apply its machine learning SDK, announced just a few weeks ago, and the Snapdragon 820 processor to meet those needs.

Qualcomm said the Connected Car Reference Platform uses a common framework that scales from a basic telematics control unit (TCU) up to a highly integrated wireless gateway, connecting multiple electronic control units (ECUs) within the car and supporting critical functions, such as over-the-air software upgrades and data collection and analytics.

The vehicle’s connectivity hardware and software to be upgraded through its life cycle, providing automakers with a migration path from Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) to hybrid/cellular V2X and from 4G LTE to 5G.

It can also manage concurrent operation of multiple wireless technologies using the same spectrum frequencies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy.

The system supports OEM and third-party applications to providing a secure framework for the development and execution of custom applications.

Qualcomm appears to be trying to solve the problem of over-the-air software updates. Updating software on a mission-critical system such as an autonomous car is a much harder problem than updating a smartphone because it has to be completely secure and work every time without reducing safety.

Qualcomm has to solve this problem anyway to accelerate shipments not only to the car market but to the IoT market, where it hopes to sell tens of billions of chips.

#Qualcomm says it expects to ship the Connected Car Reference Platform to automakers, tier 1 auto suppliers and developers late this year.

Nvidia’s patent trolling flops

Wikia_HP_-_Mountain_TrollA move by Nvidia to find a replacement for a lucrative patenting deal it has with Intel by patent trolling two other big names has backfired.

Since January 2011 Nvidia had a cushy deal with Intel where Chipzilla would pay it $1.5 billion.  It was great while it lasted but Intel has almost paid up and Nvidia thought it could get a similar licensing deal from Samsung and Qualcomm.

It unleashed its mighty briefs in September 2014 claiming that Samsung and Qualcomm had breached United States Patent Nos. 6,198,488, 6,992,667, 7,038,685, 7,015,913, 6,697,063, 7,209,140 and 6,690,372.

These patents were allegedly used in now ancient Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 400, 600 or 800 series of processors, and devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 (LTE), Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S III and the Samsung Note Pro LTE, Galaxy Tab 4, and Galaxy Tab 3 tablet.  It should have had Nvidia on a nice little earner.

Then something odd happened. Nvidia only mentioned Samsung in the lawsuit and stopped talking about Qualcomm. In September 2015 judge ruled that Samsung and Qualcomm actually didn’t infringe two of the patents.

It seems then that Nvidia went back to the negotiating table. It appears to have got a few minor agreements from Samsung and Qualcomm, but nothing like the sort of money it got from Intel.

The deal was so minor that Nvidia doesn’t want to talk about it. All the company is saying at this time the agreement covers the licensing of a small number of patents by each company to another.