Archive for the ‘Qualcomm’ Category

Apple reportedly discussed buying Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business

April 26th, 2019
Apple reportedly discussed buying Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business

Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Apple and Intel have talked about a possible business deal between the two companies that would have Apple acquiring parts of Intel's smartphone-modem chip business, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, the talks began last summer but stopped recently around the time that Apple and Qualcomm settled their patent dispute.

Intel gained more of Apple's business when it began supplying smartphone-modem chips while the iPhone maker feuded with Qualcomm. That legal battle over patent royalties raged on for years until Apple and Qualcomm were set to meet in court earlier this month. On the first day of the trial, the two companies announced they reached a deal "to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide."

Qualcomm agreed to continue to supply Apple with smartphone chips under the deal, and Apple agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for the six-year licensing agreement. On the same day, Intel announced it would discontinue its 5G chipmaking efforts, an operation that Apple encouraged it to pursue for use in future iPhones. It's unclear which decision came first—Apple's and Qualcomm's decision to settle or Intel's abandonment of 5G modems—but it's likely that the two were in some way related.

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Posted in apple, Intel, Qualcomm, Smartphone, smartphone modem, Tech | Comments (0)

Intel quits 5G modem business hours after Apple settles with Qualcomm

April 17th, 2019
A 5G Intel logo is seen during the Mobile World Congress on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona.

Enlarge / A 5G Intel logo is seen during the Mobile World Congress on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona. (credit: Miquel Benitez/Getty Images)

Intel says it is canceling a line of smartphone 5G chips that had been slated for 2020 launches. The announcement comes on the same day Apple announced a wide-ranging settlement with Qualcomm over patent issues.

Qualcomm has long been a dominant player in the wireless chip business for smartphones. Apple worries about becoming too dependent on a single supplier. So in recent years, Apple has encouraged Intel to expand its wireless chip offerings and offered Intel a significant share of its business for 4G chips in the iPhone.

Then last year, as Apple's legal battle with Qualcomm heated up, Intel became Apple's sole supplier for 4G wireless chips in the iPhone. Intel additionally was working to develop 5G chips for Apple to use in future versions of the iPhone. But recent reports have indicated that Intel was "missing deadlines" for the wireless chip that was slated to go into the 2020 model of the iPhone.

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Posted in 5G, apple, Intel, Policy, Qualcomm, Tech, wireless chips | Comments (0)

Qualcomm shares up 20 percent after Apple agrees to settlement

April 16th, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a product launch event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif.

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a product launch event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif. (credit: NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

A high-stakes trial between Apple and Qualcomm kicked off yesterday in a San Diego courtroom. But this afternoon, the companies announced that they had reached a deal in the case.

The news sent Qualcomm stock soaring more than 20 percent. Apple stock saw little change.

Apple and Qualcomm had been locked in a global, years-long legal battle over patent royalties. Qualcomm demands that companies license its patent portfolio before they can buy the company's chips. It's an unusual arrangement, and critics argue it is an abuse of Qualcomm's dominant position in the wireless chip market.

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Posted in apple, patents, Policy, Qualcomm | Comments (0)

Apple’s internal hardware team is working on modems now, likely to replace Intel

February 8th, 2019
The iPhone XS gold finish

Enlarge / The iPhone XS. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple will design its own modems in-house, according to sources that spoke with Reuters. In doing so, the company may hope to leave behind Intel modems in its mobile devices, which Apple has used since a recent falling out with Qualcomm.

According to the sources, the team working on modem design now reports to Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies. Srouji joined Apple back in 2004 and led development of Apple’s first in-house system-on-a-chip, the A4. He has overseen Apple silicon ever since, including the recent A12 and A12X in the new iPhone and iPad Pro models.

Before this move, Apple’s modem work ultimately fell under Dan Riccio, who ran engineering for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. As Reuters noted, that division was heavily focused on managing the supply chain and working with externally made components. The fact that the team is moving into the group focused on developing in-house components is a strong signal that Apple will not be looking outside its own walls for modems in the future.

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Posted in apple, modems, Qualcomm, silicon, Tech | Comments (0)

Qualcomm forces Apple to stop selling iPhone 7 and 8 in Germany

January 4th, 2019
A woman holding a smartphone walks past the Apple Store on January 04, 2019 in Berlin.

Enlarge / A woman holding a smartphone walks past the Apple Store on January 04, 2019 in Berlin. (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Apple has suffered another blow in its global patent battle with Qualcomm as it was forced to pull older iPhones from its shelves in Germany. Currently the German Apple store offers the iPhone XS and XR but not the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8.

Qualcomm says Apple was forced to pull its older smartphones due to a December 20 patent ruling in Qualcomm's favor.

"The Court found that Apple is infringing Qualcomm’s patented power savings technology used in smartphones," Qualcomm wrote. Qualcomm needed to post a €1.34 billion ($1.53 billion) bond with German courts for the ruling to take effect, which it has now done.

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Posted in apple, iphone, Policy, Qualcomm | Comments (0)

Apple says iOS update will avoid Qualcomm patents, China iPhone ban

December 14th, 2018
iPhones are seen at an Apple Store in Tianjin, China.

Enlarge / iPhones are seen at an Apple Store in Tianjin, China. (credit: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Apple's patent battle with Qualcomm in China has intensified this week, with Qualcomm seeking a broader ban and Apple claiming it has a workaround to avoid Qualcomm's patents.

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.

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Posted in apple, china, iphone, patent litigation, Policy, Qualcomm | Comments (0)

Don’t buy a 5G smartphone—at least, not for a while

December 14th, 2018
5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.

Enlarge / 5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.

2019 is going to be the year of 5G—at least, that's what the cellular industry keeps saying. We're going to see the launch of several 5G smartphones from OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, and OnePlus, and carriers will be tripping over themselves to tell you how awesome their new 5G networks are despite coming with a slew of asterisks. I would like to make something up about how ridiculous the 5G hype has gotten, but it's hard to top actual quotes from industry executives, like Verizon's claim that 5G will "dramatically improve our global society." Faster mobile Internet is coming, but should you care about it yet?

Qualcomm recently had its big 2019 chip announcement, and as the world's biggest provider of smartphone chips, that gives us a good idea of what the upcoming 5G hardware will look like. The industry is doing its best to hype 5G up as The Next Big Thing™, but 5G hardware in 2019 is going to be a decidedly first-generation affair. Early adopters for 5G will have to accept all manner of tradeoffs. And when there might not even be 5G reception in your area, it might be better to just wait the whole thing out for a year or two.

A 5G mmWave primer: Making use of the spectrum that nobody wanted

"5G" is a shorthand reference to the next generation of cellular network technology that is launching in 2019. The whole "G" naming scheme started in the 1990s with the launch of GSM, which was called the "second generation"—aka "2G"—of mobile networking technology. GSM upgraded early networks from analog to digital, and those old analog networks were retroactively given the name "1G." Since then, we've gotten new "G" numbers with major coordinated network upgrades about every 10 years. These iterations brought important features like SMS and MMS messages, IP-based networking and mobile Internet, and, of course, more speed.

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Posted in 4G, 5G, Android, Features, Qualcomm, Tech | Comments (0)

Qualcomm says a Chinese court has banned sales of older iPhones nationwide

December 10th, 2018
A young woman is impressed by something on her smartphone.

Enlarge / A Chinese woman reacts while setting up the facial recognition feature on her iPhone X inside an Apple showroom in Beijing in 2017. Qualcomm says a Chinese court has banned iPhone X sales in China. (credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Qualcomm says it has scored an important victory in its long-running global patent battle with Apple over patent rights. According to Qualcomm, a Chinese court ruled that several recent iPhone models infringe multiple Qualcomm software patents and has ordered a ban on iPhone sales. Apple says it has already appealed the ruling.

The ruling occurred on November 30, but Qualcomm announced the ruling today.

Apple has downplayed the ruling's significance, telling media outlets that the ban has not yet taken effect and that it only applies to older versions of iOS software, not to the current version, iOS 12. The ruling also only applies to older iPhone models—including the iPhone 8 and iPhone X—but not to the iPhone XS and XR.

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Posted in apple, iOS, iphone, Policy, Qualcomm, Tech | Comments (0)

Samsung launches Snapdragon 850-powered Windows 2-in-1

October 18th, 2018


Samsung today announced the Galaxy Book2 (sic; the company has not put a space between the word and the number), a 2-in-1 tablet running Windows 10, powered by a Snapdragon 850 processor.

The first generation of Windows 10-on-ARM machines were roundly criticized for the performance of their Snapdragon 835 processors. The second generation of machines, however, uses the Snapdragon 850, a variant of the Snapdragon 845 that's designed for the bigger batteries and higher power dissipation of laptops and tablets. This is widely hoped and expected to bring performance up to respectable levels.

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Posted in microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, snapdragon, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Mercedes-Benz debuts Qualcomm’s wireless charging for the hybrid S Class

October 11th, 2016

(credit: Qualcomm/Mercedes-Benz)

Back in 2015 we took a look at Qualcomm’s Halo wireless car charging technology. It uses induction charging to top up a hybrid car’s batteries without the hassle of actually having to plug in, at roughly the same efficiency as a wired connection. Since then we’ve been wondering when we might see a Halo-equipped car reach market. Wonder no more: on Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz and Qualcomm announced that the 2017 S550e (the hybrid version of the flagship S-Class sedan) now has the option of wireless charging.

Instead of a cable for plugging one’s S550e into the wall, owners will get a charging pad for their carport or garage. Simply drive the car over the pad, and once the two halves of the charger are aligned, charging begins. It’s a 3.6kW system (Qualcomm has previously told Ars it could also work at 6.6kW), which makes it suitable for topping up the 8kWh battery in the big Benz, but as yet probably too slow for a fully electric vehicle.

As yet there’s no price on Mercedes-Benz’s website for the wireless charging option, but given the S550e’s base price of $96,600, we’re pretty sure it’ll be affordable to owners.

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Posted in Cars Technica, Hybrid Cars, Mercedes-Benz, Qualcomm, wireless charging | Comments (0)