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Qualcomm announces 18 OEMs will build 5G devices in 2019 with its X50 modem

At the company's "5G Day" event in San Diego yesterday, Qualcomm announced that it had secured 18 OEM partners to build 5G devices using its new X50 5G modem in 2019. Notable among them are handset makers Nokia (HMD), Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, HTC, LG, ASUS, and ZTE. Conspicuously absent at the time of this writing is Samsung, though the two companies did just announce a long-term cross-licensing agreement, so you'd have to think they were on track to build a phone with this new modem, too.

Other companies in the list can be found in the press release below, though most of the others are in the component or supply chain side of the business.

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Qualcomm fined €997 million for anticompetitive practices (again) by the EU

The European Commission has fined chipmaker Qualcomm €997 million ($1.24 billion) for abusing its market dominance in LTE baseband chipsets. The decision comes as the result of an investigation covering the period from 2011 to 2016, during which Qualcomm paid Apple to exclusively use its LTE chips in iPhones and iPads.

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Qualcomm and Rockchip announce new platforms for Android Things OS

Android Things is the name of Google's edition of Android specifically designed for Internet-of-Things devices (IoT). The first version was made available at the end of 2016, and the first long-term support version is expected to be released sometime this year. Back in May, MediaTek announced that it was making hardware specifically for Android Things, and now two other companies are following suit.

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New commit shows possibility of Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 powered Chromebooks

At the unveiling of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 earlier this month, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced "always-connected" Windows 10 notebook PCs with LTE support and batteries that last throughout the day. For Microsoft's part, this new initiative is separate from the previous Windows RT releases, as these systems can seamlessly run x86-64 32-bit x86 apps. A newly discovered commit indicates that Snapdragon 845-powered Chromebooks are being developed as well.

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Qualcomm wants to make headphone dongles sound better by giving them Hi-Fi DACs

Headphone jacks are on the way out, and Qualcomm is looking to cash in on the situation - while also possibly making your headphones sound less bad over USB-C.

As you know, most smartphones shipping without 3.5mm jacks do come with USB-C dongles to act as adapters for the traditional analog port. Most of those phones don't even contain a headphone amplifier at all, though (to save space and money), so those pieces actually go inside the dongle instead of the phone. The problem, unfortunately, is that some of these dongles just don't sound very good. Qualcomm wants to change that, and it's created a part called the AQT1000 to address it.

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Snapdragon 845 reference phone hands-on: a peek at your next smartphone (kind of)

The Snapdragon 845 was announced today, and after the press conference here in Hawaii came to an end this morning, Qualcomm unveiled the next-generation chip's reference platform to journalists.

Reference platforms serve as tools for Qualcomm and its customers (the companies that make phones), and they're usually pretty crude aesthetically. The one Qualcomm has whipped together for its 845 platform is kind of nice, though, big bezels aside. I can't really tell you much about using it - it's running Android and it's filled with diagnostic software and a few tightly-scripted demo applications you won't really care about. I can tell you what it does, though.

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Snapdragon 845 detailed: New GPU and CPU, 30% faster graphics, 30% more efficient

Qualcomm detailed its next-generation chipset, the Snapdragon 845, at a press conference in Hawaii this morning. The chip features a ground-up redesign of the company's Kryo CPU (now the Kryo 385) and Adreno GPU, marking a major evolution of the platform. The changes to the new Adreno 630 GPU will result in 30% faster graphics performance, and Qualcomm anticipates the platform as a whole will be up to 30% more power-efficient than Snapdragon 835, a chip that has already proven to be excellent on battery life.

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News: Snapdragon 845 exists

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845 today at as press conference in Hawaii, the next generation of the company's flagship mobile processor. As with the outgoing Snapdragon 835, Samsung is the fabrication partner, and the 845 will be built on the company's 10nm process.

Full disclosure: Qualcomm paid to fly me to Hawaii, put me up at the Grand Wailea resort for three (correction: four nights, I regret the error) nights, fed me breakfast this morning (the coffee was OK) and a bunch of Mai Tais and little beef taquitos last night. The taquitos were pretty good and the Mai Tais were solid.

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Qualcomm's board unanimously votes down Broadcom buyout offer

There's a pretty solid chance the phone in your pocket is powered by Qualcomm's silicon, and Broadcom wants a piece of that. Broadcom is so interested that it sent an unsolicited acquisition offer to Qualcomm last week. The chip maker acknowledged receipt of the offer, but today it officially announced that it's not interested.

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[Update: Qualcomm has received Broadcom's offer] Report: Broadcom may be looking to acquire Qualcomm

Qualcomm's been in the news quite a lot this year, for a lot of different reasons. Now, according to Bloomberg, it might be making headlines again soon. Broadcom Ltd. may be submitting an offer to Qualcomm to purchase the company in what would be the single largest takeover of a chipmaker ever. It's early, though, and no offer has yet been submitted to Qualcomm. 

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