The Apple vs. Qualcomm drama has taken a turn for the dramatic. Today Qualcomm has fired back its own complaint against the ITC, and filed a suit in California, claiming that Apple is infringing on Qualcomm's patents and that an import ban on the infringing products is justified. The suit is only against products which use modems "other than those supplied by Qualcomm's affiliates," which, presumably, means the Intel modems that Apple has chosen to use in some models. Read More
It's been some time since Qualcomm issued the 400-series Snapdragon chip a generational update, but it looks like we're finally getting one today. The new Snapdragon 450 sees Qualcomm's mid-range smartphone platform move to a 14nm process, a change that should bring very significant efficiency gains, as current 400-series chips are on a 28nm process.
Like the outgoing Snapdragon 435, the current most-powerful 400-series chipset, the 450 still utilizes Cortex A53 cores, but on a smaller 14nm process. Qualcomm is also very substantially raising their max clock speed, up to 1.8GHz on the 450 versus a max of 1.4GHz on the 435. Read More
Qualcomm announced at MWC Shanghai today that it's releasing a new wearable chipset, Snapdragon Wear 1200. The chip is actually a pretty major advancement over the previous generation Wear 1100, in that the overall package size is a whopping 45% smaller while adding support for LTE Cat M1 connectivity, a technology designed to allow ultra-low-power electronics to connect to an LTE network with minimal power consumption. LTE Cat NB1, also supported by Wear 1200, offers similar benefits.
This chip isn't something that will ever make it into an Android Wear device, but you could see it in internet-connected accessories and basic fitness or tracker wearables. Read More
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... Read More
The European Commission has opened an investigation into the proposed purchase of NXP Semiconductors by Qualcomm. The EC's examination of the acquisition is being launched under concerns that the purchase may result in a decrease in market competition for the automotive semiconductor space. NXP is a big provider for that market, particularly when it comes to NFC and "secure element" cryptographic devices. In cars, these features are used in things like key fobs. Read More
Nubia is a rather unknown quantity, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese manufacturer from announcing its latest phone, the Z17. If that name sounds a bit familiar to astute AP readers, that's because this is the first phone with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4+. Who would have thought? Read More
There are quite a few quick charging standards in the wild, from USB-PD to Motorola TurboPower. Qualcomm's Quick Charge remains a popular option, used in devices like the Galaxy S8 and LG G6. While there aren't any devices on the market supporting QC 4, Qualcomm has announced QC 4+ with a few additional features over the already-new standard. Read More
The final quantity in Qualcomm's arbitration with BlackBerry has been determined. In previous coverage of the arbitration settlement, the quantity owed by Qualcomm to BlackBerry for overpayment of royalties was pegged at $814 million. Now that interest and attorneys fees have been added in, the total amount to be paid out has been set at $940 million. That's almost a billion dollars that Qualcomm has to pay BlackBerry by May 31st. Read More
VR has slowed in both improvements and public excitement recently. But that hasn't stopped Google from bettering its Daydream platform, its take on so-called "smartphone VR." Like Samsung's version, Daydream requires a phone to operate. As cool as this was, it led to some issues, notably battery life and heat. During this year's I/O keynote, Google announced the Standalone VR headsets that were rumored yesterday. As the name suggests, these devices won't require a phone to operate. Read More
Qualcomm has announced two new platforms today, the Snapdragon 660 and 630, meant to supplant the 653 and 626 respectively. Both are built on the company's latest 14nm FinFET process. They are also each part of Qualcomm's so-called "High tier," which rests — as one would numerically assume — between the 800 and 400 tiers. I don't want to oversimplify too many details of this release since it is very nifty, but at the same time I would like to ensure the information I'm presenting is accessible, so forgive me if I occasionally digress and/or geek out. Read More