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Qualcomm

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Qualcomm will now have to license standards-essential patents to competitors on reasonable terms

Last year, the FTC filed suit against Qualcomm for its patent licensing, alleging that the company wasn't giving competitors fair terms for standards-essential patents owned by the company. In what will likely prove to be a benefit to companies and consumers alike, yesterday the judge in the suit granted a motion for partial summary judgment, requiring that Qualcomm license those standards-essential patents to other chipset manufacturers under reasonable terms.

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Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 675, a mid-range chip designed for mobile gaming

 

Qualcomm waited over a year to deliver a successor to the Snapdragon 660, a well-received mid-range chipset launched in 2017 that ended up gracing a lengthy list of devices including the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018), Asus ZenFone 4, and Nokia 7 Plus. The Snapdragon 670 arrived in August, promising enhanced AI performance and the usual performance improvements. Fast forward just a few months and Qualcomm has now doubled up, launching the Snapdragon 675 at its 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong. The aim? A chipset optimized for mobile gaming.

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Qualcomm shrinks mmWave antenna ahead of 5G handset reveals in 2019

 

5G is coming. That's a line you've no doubt read countless times by now. But just as it begins to ring false (like a wireless tech version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf), it's also more accurate than ever. In July, Qualcomm revealed new antenna for mmWave spectrum — the finnicky, high-frequency stuff that's crucial to 5G. These antenna modules were actually small enough for practical use in smartphones, a major milestone. Today at its 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, the chipset maker announced that it shrunk a version of those antenna modules by 25 percent, and that consumers can expect to see them in action in commercial 5G devices in early 2019.

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Qualcomm's new Snapdragon Wear 3100 puts battery life ahead of performance — and that makes sense

It's been two and a half years since Qualcomm revealed its first dedicated wearable chipset, Wear 2100, and, in that time, there's been no major update. This has led to some doubt regarding the chipmaker's interest in the market — a crucial element for Wear OS' continued existence, considering Qualcomm powers 80 percent of Android smartwatches out there now. The San Diego chipset giant asserted its continued intention to dominate the Wear OS market today, however, with the reveal of Wear 3100 — and the subtext of the announcement has indications for the industry at large.

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Qualcomm aptX Adaptive is the newest attempt to improve Bluetooth audio

Qualcomm is looking to tackle some of the issues with Bluetooth audio with its new aptX Adaptive codec. Its key feature is that it dynamically adjusts to what you're consuming, which should not only improve audio quality overall, but also reduce latency in A/V content like videos and games. 

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Qualcomm is sampling 7nm, 5G-compatible chipsets for smartphone launches in the first half of 2019

Not only are chipset makers racing to 5G, there's also a constant push towards shrinking fabrication processes. The smaller the process, the smaller and more power efficient a chip can be – or, conversely, the more transistors it can fit, making it more powerful at the same size. As it stands, 10nm is as little as it gets when it comes to commercially available mobile processors, but that won't hold true for long. Shortly after Huawei quietly announced that its Kirin 980 system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be built on 7nm process technology, Qualcomm has announced that its next flagship chipset will also be built on the 7nm process node.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 mobile platform: better performance and AI tech in new mid-range chip

When an OEM chooses a Qualcomm SoC for a phone, the first thought is whether to include a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 series chip or something cheaper. The 700 series was recently unveiled, but before that the next best thing has been a 600 series processor such as the Snapdragon 660. Qualcomm's latest announcement introduces a successor, the predictably named Snapdragon 670.

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Qualcomm won't be buying NXP, set to pay $2 billion termination fee

Starting all the way back in 2016, Qualcomm set its sights on purchasing NXP. Both being huge semiconductor companies operating in overlapping fields, there was some question of consumer benefit and market competition if the deal went through. EU regulators expressed some concern before relenting, and back in June Chinese regulators were said to be ready to grant their own blessings. Turns out, China's enthusiasm may have been overstated, as Qualcomm is set to terminate the NXP acquisition based on the continued absence of regulatory approval from the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), presumably as a result of the ongoing trade tensions between it and the US.

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Qualcomm reveals new 5G antenna, may finally make mmWave tech useful for phones

It seems like 5G is one of those things that's perpetually sitting out on the horizon in tech news, but today Qualcomm took a decent step forward when it comes to a particular implementation. One of the carriers' more ambitious 5G solutions is to harness the high-frequency millimeter wave (mmWave) bands, which promise high bandwidth and low congestion, at the cost of limited coverage and some practicality concerns. But with Qualcomm's recently announced mmWave antennas, some of the issues related to it may be overcome.

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Qualcomm announces three new mid-range mobile chipsets: Snapdragon 632, 439, and 429

When it comes to making processors for Android smartphones, Qualcomm is by far the market leader. MediaTek trails, focussing mainly on budget hardware, and then there are proprietary chips from the likes of Samsung and Huawei, but they aren't used outside of a few of their own products.

Qualcomm has a range of SoCs to cater for mobile devices of any level, but the mid-range market is where the money is right now. With that in mind, the company just announced three new chips: two in the lower mid-range 400 series and one in the higher mid-range 600 series.

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