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Qualcomm Inc.
S&P 500 Component
IndustryTelecommunications equipment
FoundedSan Diego, California, USA (1985)
Founder(s)Irwin Jacobs
Andrew Viterbi

San Diego, California, United States

Coordinates: 32°53′43″N 117°11′45″W / 32.8952°N 117.1957°W / 32.8952; -117.1957
Area servedWorldwide
Key peoplePaul E. Jacobs
(Chairman & CEO)
ProductsCDMA/WCDMA chipsets, Snapdragon , BREW, OmniTRACS, MediaFLO, QChat, mirasol displays, uiOne, Gobi
RevenueIncrease US$ 19.12 billion (2012)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease US$ 05.59 billion (2012)[1]
ProfitIncrease US$ 06.10 billion (2012)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 43.01 billion (2012)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$ 33.52 billion (2012)[1]
Employees26,000 (2012)[1]
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Qualcomm Inc.
S&P 500 Component
IndustryTelecommunications equipment
FoundedSan Diego, California, USA (1985)
Founder(s)Irwin Jacobs
Andrew Viterbi

San Diego, California, United States

Coordinates: 32°53′43″N 117°11′45″W / 32.8952°N 117.1957°W / 32.8952; -117.1957
Area servedWorldwide
Key peoplePaul E. Jacobs
(Chairman & CEO)
ProductsCDMA/WCDMA chipsets, Snapdragon , BREW, OmniTRACS, MediaFLO, QChat, mirasol displays, uiOne, Gobi
RevenueIncrease US$ 19.12 billion (2012)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease US$ 05.59 billion (2012)[1]
ProfitIncrease US$ 06.10 billion (2012)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 43.01 billion (2012)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$ 33.52 billion (2012)[1]
Employees26,000 (2012)[1]
Qualcomm Research Center and Office of the Chief Scientist in San Diego, CA.

Qualcomm Incorporated is an American global semiconductor company that designs, manufactures and markets digital wireless telecommunications products and services. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, USA, the company has 157 worldwide locations. The parent company is Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm), which includes the Qualcomm Technology Licensing Division (QTL). Qualcomm's wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), operates substantially all of Qualcomm's R&D activities, as well as its product and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

Corporate history[edit]

Qualcomm was founded in 1985 by MIT alumnus and UC San Diego professor Irwin M. Jacobs, USC and MIT alumnus Andrew Viterbi, Harvey White, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, and Franklin Antonio. Jacobs and Viterbi had previously founded Linkabit. Qualcomm's first products and services included the OmniTRACS satellite locating and messaging service, used by long-haul trucking companies, developed from a product called Omninet owned by Parviz Nazarian and Neil Kadisha, and specialized integrated circuits for digital radio communications such as a Viterbi decoder.

In 1990, Qualcomm began the design of the first CDMA-based cellular base station, based upon calculations derived from the CDMA-based OmniTRACS satellite system. This work began as a study contract from AirTouch which was facing a shortage of cellular capacity in Los Angeles. Two years later Qualcomm began to manufacture CDMA cell phones, base stations, and chips. The initial base stations were not reliable and the technology was licensed wholly to Nortel in return for their work in improving the base station switching. The first CDMA technology was standardized as IS-95. Qualcomm has since helped to establish the CDMA2000, WCDMA and LTE cellular standards.

In 1991, Qualcomm acquired Eudora (email client), a PC mail client that could be used with the Omnitracs system. The acquisition also associated a widely-used email client with a company that was little-known at the time, Qualcomm.

In 1997, Qualcomm paid $18 million for the naming rights to the Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, renaming it to Qualcomm Stadium. The naming rights will belong to Qualcomm until 2017.[2]

In 1999, Qualcomm sold its base station business to Ericsson, and later, sold its cell phone manufacturing business to Kyocera. The company was now focused on developing and licensing wireless technologies and selling ASICs that implement them.

In 2011, Qualcomm announced that Steve Mollenkopf has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of the company, effective November 12.[3]

CFO Bill Keitel will retire and be replaced by Applied Materials CFO George Davis on March 11, 2013.[4]


In December 29, 1999, Walter Piecyk opened coverage with a "buy" rating and set a $1,000 price target on Qualcomm stock.[5]

In 2000, Qualcomm acquired SnapTrack, the inventor of the assisted-GPS system for cellphones, branded as gpsOne. The Snaptrack patents describe how a cellphone can acquire a GPS signal rapidly using timing information sent from the base station. This reduces the searching time for geolocation from minutes down to roughly one second.

In October 2004, Qualcomm acquired Trigenix Ltd, a mobile user interface (UI) software development company, based in Cambridge, UK. After integrating the company, Qualcomm re-branded their interface markup language, TrigML, and its accompanying integrated development environment (IDE) as uiOne. In March 2009, Qualcomm informed their Cambridge engineering staff, mostly from the division working on uiOne, that they were going to be eliminated, and, in April that year, (after a legally required 30 day consultancy period) around 45 staff were let go. The rationale was stated as being a greater focus on deploying Flash Lite as a UI solution for Qualcomm-chipset-powered mobile phones. During 2004 Qualcomm also acquired Iridigm Corporation to form Qualcomm MEMS Technologies to develop low power reflective displays for mobile applications.

In 2005, Qualcomm acquired Elata, a pioneer in the development of over-the-air (OTA) delivery technology for wireless applications and content since 2000. This acquisition extended Qualcomm’s reach into Europe and reaffirmed its support for open wireless standards.[6]

In 2006, Qualcomm acquired Berkana Wireless, a specialist in RF CMOS solutions founded in 2001. This acquisition helped enable Qualcomm to more quickly deliver new, highly integrated RF CMOS solutions to its CDMA2000 and WCDMA customers.[7]

In 2006, Qualcomm acquired Qualphone, a specialist in IP-based Multimedia Subsystems (IMS)-embedded client software solutions for mobile devices and a provider of interoperability testing (IOT) services. This acquisition helped Qualcomm further accelerate the delivery of multimedia, feature-rich, 3G solutions on top of the emerging IMS and Multi Media Domain (MMD) architectures to CDMA2000® and WCDMA/UMTS markets.[8]

In 2006, Qualcomm acquired Airgo Networks, a company specializing in 802.11 chip and MIMO technologies. This acquisition helped Qualcomm enable its device-manufacturing partners to more quickly and easily offer a wide range of compelling wireless devices.[9]

In 2006, Qualcomm acquired RF Micro Devices (RFMD). This acquisition enhanced Qualcomm’s ability to support its device-manufacturing partners.[9]

In 2009, Qualcomm purchased AMD's handset division.[10] This acquisition formed the basis for the later Adreno chips.[11]

In 2010, Qualcomm announced acquisition of San Francisco based iSkoot Technologies Inc. Qualcomm did not disclose financial details of the acquisition.[12]

In January 2011, Qualcomm announced acquisition of Atheros Communications Inc. for about $3.2 billion in cash, broadening its lineup of Wi-Fi networking technology.[13]

In early February 2011, Qualcomm acquired the Canadian company of Sylectus.[14]

In June 2011, Qualcomm agreed to acquire all the assets of Rapid Bridge LLC (San Diego, California.)[15]

In July 2011, Qualcomm acquired some assets of GestureTek. The company plans to use the gesture recognition technology in its Snapdragon processors.[16]

In November 2011, Qualcomm acquired a substantial portfolio of assets and technology from HaloIPT. The company provides wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles.[17]

In August 2012, Qualcomm acquired DesignArt Networks.[18]

Mobile phone standards[edit]

Qualcomm pioneered the commercialization of the cdmaOne (IS-95) standard for wireless cellular communications, following up with CDMA2000, an early standard for third-generation (3G) mobile.

Today, the company is the leading patent holder in advanced 3G mobile technologies, including CDMA2000 1xEV-DO and its evolutions; WCDMA[19] and its higher-speed variant known as HSPA and its evolutions; and TD-SCDMA; as well as patents on 4G. The license streams from the patents on these inventions, and related products, are a major component of Qualcomm's business.

In June 2011, Qualcomm announced that it will be releasing a set of application programming interfaces geared to give Web-based applications deeper links into hardware.[20]

Satellite phone network[edit]

Beginning in 1991, Qualcomm participated in the development of the Globalstar satellite system along with Loral Space & Communications. It uses a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation consisting of 44 active satellites. The system is used for voice telephony via hand-held satellite phones, asset tracking and data transfer using mobile satellite modems. The system was designed as a normal IS-95 system, and used the satellite as a "bent pipe" or "repeater" to transfer cellular signals from the handset to the terrestrial base station. Unlike the Iridium system, which routes phone calls between satellites, the Globalstar satellite must always be able to see both the handset and the base station to establish a connection, therefore, there is no coverage over the Earth's poles where there are no satellite orbits. There is also no coverage in locations where the large Globalstar base stations are not in view (some locations in the south atlantic, for examples.) Some of the Globalstar hardware is manufactured by Qualcomm. Like other satellite phone networks Globalstar went bankrupt in 1999, only to be bought up by a group of investors who are currently running the system. Those investors plan to launch a constellation supporting EV-DO in 2009.

Legal issues[edit]

In April 2006, a dispute between Reliance Communications and Qualcomm over royalty fees cost Qualcomm approximately $11.7b in market capitalization.[21] In July 2007, Reliance and Qualcomm decided to settle the matter and agreed to expand the use of CDMA technology in India.[22]

In June 2007, the U.S. International Trade Commission blocked the import of new cell phone models based on particular Qualcomm microchips. They found that these Qualcomm microchips infringe patents owned by Broadcom. Broadcom has also initiated patent litigation in U.S. courts over this issue. At issue is software designed to extend battery life in chips while users make out-of-network calls. In October, an ITC administrative judge made an initial ruling that Qualcomm violated the Broadcom patent covering that feature and the commission later affirmed the decision. Sprint Nextel Corp. is using a software patch from Qualcomm to get around a U.S. government agency ban on new phones with Qualcomm chips. In August 2007, Judge Rudi Brewster held that Qualcomm had engaged in litigation misconduct by withholding relevant documents during the lawsuit it brought against Broadcom and that Qualcomm employees had lied about their involvement.[23][24]

In 2009, Qualcomm and Broadcom entered into a settlement and multi-year patent agreement, ending all litigation between the companies.[25]

In 2012 a federal probe was launched into the company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars companies as well as individuals from bribing foreign officials to gain business.[26]

Qualcomm's role in 3G[edit]

The current UMTS air interfaces are for the most part based on Qualcomm patents, and royalties from these patents represent a significant part of Qualcomm's revenue.

This followed a series of patent-related lawsuits and antitrust complaints, spearheaded by Broadcom, in the US. In 2006, Broadcom started a series of patent-related lawsuits and antitrust complaints against Qualcomm to get what Broadcom regarded fair terms for access to the W-CDMA technologies. Broadcom was soon joined by Nokia and others, and complaints were also filed in the European Commission.[27]

In 2007 the European Commission launched an inquiry into Qualcomm's possible abusing its dominant position in the market for third-generation phones. The complaints were first lodged in 2005 by leading handset manufacturers Ericsson, Nokia, NEC, Panasonic and Texas Instruments. [28]

In October 2008, Nokia announced it will make a one time payment of $2.29 billion (US) to Qualcomm as part of its patent agreement with the company.[29]

The Chinese TDSCDMA 3G technology was developed primarily to avoid Qualcomm licensing fees, although Qualcomm claims that the Chinese technology still infringes on many Qualcomm patents.


Qualcomm dual-band mobile phone


Management & Diagnostic tool[edit]



QChat is a Push-to-Talk (PTT) technology. The QChat software application was developed by Qualcomm Internet Services (QIS) [40] a division of Qualcomm and part of the Qualcomm Wireless and Internet group.[41] QIS offers a set of software products and content enablement services to support and accelerate the growth of the wireless data market.[41]

Qualcomm developed QChat to provide a reliable method of instant connection and two-way communication between users in different locations, but operating within the same type of network architecture. Prior to the existence of cellular and personal communications services networks, this type of communication was limited to private Land Mobile Radio System (LMR) technology used by public safety and utility service agencies. LMR has limitations, specifically its usage can be restricted by geographic coverage area and by use of disparate frequency bands.

QChat, an application developed for the BREW platform, is a PTT communication technology for 3G networks. QChat handsets and server software allow users to connect instantaneously with other QChat users anywhere in the world with the push of a button. In addition, QChat enables one-to-one (private) and one-to-many (group) calls over the 3G networks.[42]

QChat uses standard Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies. VoIP is a voice delivery mechanism that uses the Internet Protocol to manage the delivery of voice information. Voice information is sent in digital form over IP-based data networks (including CDMA) in discrete packets rather than traditional circuit-switched protocols such those used in the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

QChat Working[edit]

QChat users on 3G wireless devices can connect to each other worldwide, in either private or group calls, with the push of a button. QChat uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies to allow subscribers to communicate by using a PTT button on the handset instead of making a standard cellular call.

QChat calls are created by combining separate point-to-point connections between each IP endpoint; the process is managed by the QChat Applications Server, which is deployed on the carrier’s IP-based Wide Area Network (WAN).

To initiate a call, a user presses the PTT button and receives an immediate indication of whether the call recipient is available. If he or she is, the caller can begin speaking immediately. If the recipient is unavailable, the caller will simply hear a negative response tone instead of a busy signal or voicemail.[42]

QChat and Sprint[edit]

On October 16, 2006 Sprint Nextel announced an agreement with Qualcomm to use QChat to provide high performance push-to-talk services to its customers on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, using CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A technology.

QChat is able to inter-operate with iDEN push-to-talk handsets on the Nextel National Network.[43]

Sprint's phones supporting QChat technology were released starting in April 2008, with a trial of business customers in Kansas and Colorado. Sprint then announced that the Nextel Direct Connect devices powered by QChat were available in more than 40 markets in June 2008.

Supported models included:[44]


Qualcomm offices are present in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "QUALCOMM, Inc. Financial Statements". US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  2. ^ "Stadium History | Qualcomm Stadium". Sandiego.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ Staff, EE Times. "Qualcomm names Mollenkopf president, COO." October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "Qualcomm CFO William Keitel To Retire". RTT News. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Qualcomm jumps on $1,000 price target". CNet.com. December 29, 1999. 
  6. ^ "Qualcomm buys mobile content company Elata - Techworld.com". News.techworld.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  7. ^ "Qualcomm buys Berkana for $56 million". Eetimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  8. ^ "QUALCOMM acquires Qualphone – Cell Phones & Mobile Device Technology News & Updates". Geek.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  9. ^ a b "Qualcomm buys Airgo, RFMD's Bluetooth business". Eetimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  10. ^ tburzio (2009-01-20). "Qualcomm buys AMD's handset division, technology for $65 million". ZDNet. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  11. ^ "Qualcomm demos fruits of ATI acquisition - Components - News". HEXUS.net. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  12. ^ "Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. Acquires iSkoot Technologies Inc., a Leader in Mobilizing Internet Services on the Handsets Most People Use Today". qualcomm. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Qualcomm Agrees to Buy Atheros for About $3.2 Billion By Olga Kharif and Sarah Rabil - Jan 5, 2011 1:33 PM GMT-0800, accessdate 5 January 2011
  14. ^ "Qualcomm Acquires Sylectus". Truckinginfo. Bobit Business Media. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Qualcomm buys LiquidCell IP firm". Eetimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  16. ^ Rick Merritt, EE Times. "Qualcomm buys gesture-recognition technology." July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  17. ^ EE Times. "alcomm acquires wireless EV charging firm." November 8, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  18. ^ Press Release: "Qualcomm Acquires Small Cell Pioneer DesignArt Networks." August 23, 2012.
  19. ^ "Multilingual Patent Search, Patent Ranking". Ipexl.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  20. ^ Rick Merritt, EE Times. "Qualcomm will give Web apps a boost ." June 3, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  21. ^ "India costs Qualcomm $12 bn". Financialexpress.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ Judge Brewster Benchslaps Qualcomm Lawyers, Wall Street Journal Law Blog, 8 August 2007.
  24. ^ L’Affaire Qualcomm: Judge Sanctions Six Lawyers, Wall Street Journal Law Blog, 8 January 2008.
  25. ^ Crothers, Brook. "Qualcomm, Broadcom reach $891 million settlement". CNET. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  26. ^ Freeman, Mike (February 5, 2012). "Qualcomm not talking about bribery probe". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  27. ^ Qualcomm issues Nokia licensing warning, Wireless Watch, 25 April 2006.
  28. ^ Gow, David (October 1, 2007). "European commission launches inquiry into US chip-maker". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  29. ^ Young, Brett. "Nokia to make $2.29 billion payment to Qualcomm". Reuters. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  30. ^ Hill, Jim (2012-11-19). "Qualcomm Halo: wireless charging for your EV goes live (Wired UK)". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  31. ^ "Challenge Bibendum - Renault, Qualcomm Join Forces for Wireless EV Charging". Michelinchallengebibendum.com. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  32. ^ Czyzewski, Andrew. "Europe's biggest wireless charging trial begins in London | In-depth". The Engineer. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  33. ^ "Our research stories - The University of Auckland". Auckland.ac.nz. 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  34. ^ "Qualcomm acquires HaloIPT team and its wireless charging technology". Green Car Congress. 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  35. ^ "QCT and Semiconductor Operations | Qualcomm". Qctconnect.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  36. ^ Qualcomm PureVoice is acknowledged in QQ2008's installation splash screen and in its license.txt
  37. ^ "Raptor| Data Transfer | Streaming Media". Qualcomm. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  38. ^ "Welcome to Eudora®!". Eudora.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  39. ^ "Penelope - MozillaWiki". Wiki.mozilla.org. 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  40. ^ [2] Qualcomm Internet Services website
  41. ^ a b [3] Reuters Company Overview, Qualcomm Incorporated
  42. ^ a b [4] QChat website
  43. ^ [5] Press Release: Sprint Nextel Teams With QUALCOMM and Lucent Technologies to Extend Industry-Leading Push-To-Talk Services with QUALCOMM'S QChat Solution, October 16, 2006
  44. ^ [6] Press Release: Sprint Customers in 40+ Markets Can Soon Get Nextel Direct Connect(R) Plus Sprint Mobile Broadband on 4 New Phones, June 12, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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