We incorporated in 1985 under the laws of the state of California. In 1991, we reincorporated in the state of Delaware. We operate and report using a 52-53 week fiscal year ending the last Sunday in September. Our 52-week fiscal years consist of four equal quarters of 13 weeks each, and our 53-week fiscal years consist of three 13-week fiscal quarters and one 14-week fiscal quarter. The financial results for our 53-week fiscal years and our 14-week fiscal quarters will not be exactly comparable to our 52-week fiscal years and our 13-week fiscal quarters. Both of the fiscal years ended September 27, 2009 and September 28, 2008 include 52 weeks. The fiscal year ended September 30, 2007 includes 53 weeks.
In 1989, we publicly introduced the concept that a digital communication technique called CDMA could be commercially successful in cellular wireless communication applications. CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access and is one of the main technologies currently used in digital wireless communications networks (also known as wireless networks). CDMA and TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access), of which Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is the primary commercial form, are the primary digital technologies currently used to transmit a wireless device user’s voice or data over radio waves using a public cellular wireless network. Because we led, and continue to lead, the development and commercialization of CDMA technology, we own significant intellectual property, including patents, patent applications and trade secrets, which applies to all versions of CDMA, portions of which we license to other companies and implement in our own products. The wireless communications industry generally recognizes that a company seeking to develop, manufacture and/or sell products that use CDMA technology will require a patent license from us.
We also continue our leading role in the development of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Access (OFDMA)-based technologies, for which we have substantial intellectual property. Our CDMA licensees’ sales of multimode third generation (3G) CDMA and OFDMA devices are covered by their existing CDMA license agreements with us. We have begun to license companies to make and sell single-mode OFDMA devices. In addition, nine companies have royalty-bearing licenses under our patent portfolio for use in single-mode OFDMA products.
Our Revenues. We generate revenues by licensing portions of our intellectual property to manufacturers of wireless products (such as wireless phones and other devices and the infrastructure required to establish and operate a wireless network). We receive licensing fees and royalties on products sold by our licensees that incorporate our patented technologies. We also sell products and services, which include:
• CDMA-based integrated circuits (also known as chips or chipsets) and Radio Frequency (RF) and Power Management (PM) chips and system software used in mobile devices (also known as subscriber units, which include handsets and modem cards) and in wireless networks;
• Equipment, software and services used by companies, including those in the transportation industry and governments to wirelessly connect with their assets and workforce;
• Software products and services for content enablement across a wide variety of platforms and devices for the wireless industry;
• Services to wireless operators delivering multimedia content, including live television, in the United States;
• Software and hardware development services; and
• Software products and services that enable financial institutions and wireless operators to offer mobile commerce services.
Our Integrated Circuits Business. We develop and supply CDMA-based integrated circuits and system software for wireless voice and data communications, multimedia functions and global positioning system products. We also design and create multimode and multiband integrated circuits incorporating other wireless standards for roaming in global roaming markets. Our integrated circuit products and system software are used in wireless devices, particularly mobile phones, laptops, data modules, handheld wireless computers, data cards and infrastructure equipment. The integrated circuits for wireless devices include the baseband Mobile Station Modem (MSM), Mobile Data Modem (MDM), Qualcomm Single Chip (QSC), Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD), RF, PM and Bluetooth devices, as well as the system software that enables the other device components to interface with the integrated circuit products and is the foundation software enabling device manufacturers to develop handsets utilizing the functionality within the integrated circuits. These integrated circuits for wireless devices and system software perform voice and data communication, multimedia and global positioning functions, radio conversion between RF and baseband signals and power management. Our infrastructure equipment Cell Site Modem (CSM) integrated circuits and system software perform the core baseband CDMA modem functionality in the wireless operator’s base station equipment providing wireless standards-compliant processing of voice and data signals to and from wireless devices. Because of our broad and unique experience in designing and developing CDMA-based products, we not only design the baseband integrated circuit, but the supporting system as well, including the RF devices, PM devices and accompanying software products. This approach enables us to optimize the performance of the wireless device with improved product features, as well as the integration and performance of the network system. Our design of the system allows CDMA systems and devices manufactured by our customers to come to market faster. We provide our integrated circuits and system software, including reference designs and tools, to many of the world’s leading wireless device and infrastructure equipment manufacturers. We also provide support to enable our customers to reduce the time required to design their products and bring their products to market faster. We plan to add additional features and capabilities to our integrated circuit products to help our customers reduce the costs and size of their products, to simplify our customers’ design processes and to enable more wireless devices and services.
Our Licensing Business. We grant licenses to use portions of our intellectual property portfolio, which includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products, and collect license fees and royalties in partial consideration for such licenses.
Our Wireless Device Software and Related Services Business. We provide software products and services for the global wireless industry. Our BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) services enable wireless operators, device manufacturers and software developers to provide over-the-air and pre-loaded wireless applications and services. Our Plaza suite of products, which includes Plaza Retail and Plaza Mobile Internet, enable wireless operators, device manufacturers and publishers to create and distribute mobile content across a wide variety of platforms and devices. We also offer Xiam wireless content discovery and recommendation products to help wireless operators improve usage and adoption of digital content and services. We also provide QChat, a push to talk product optimized for 3G networks, as well as QPoint, which enables wireless operators to offer enhanced 911 (E-911) wireless emergency and other location-based applications and services.
Our Asset Tracking and Services Business. We design, manufacture and sell equipment, license software and provide services to our customers to enable them to connect wirelessly with their assets, products and workforce. We offer satellite- and terrestrial-based two-way wireless connectivity and position location services to transportation and logistics fleets and other enterprise companies to enable our customers to track the location and monitor the performance of their assets, and the workflow of their personnel.
Our Mobile Banking Business. We provide a single, secure, certified application embedded on select wireless devices, which enables financial institutions and merchants to deliver branded services to consumers through the wireless devices. Our application enables wireless operators to deliver consumer-convenient, mass-market applications to subscribers, and wireless device users to access and add multiple financial relationships with one password.
Our FLO TV Business. Our subsidiary, FLO TV Incorporated (FLO TV), formerly MediaFLO USA, Inc., offers its service over our nationwide multicast network based on our MediaFLO Media Distribution System (MDS) and MediaFLO technology, which leverages the Forward Link Only (FLO) air interface standard. This network is utilized as a shared resource for wireless operators and their customers in the United States. The commercial availability of the FLO TV network and service on wireless operator devices will continue, in part, to be determined by our wireless operator partners. FLO TV’s network uses the 700 MHz spectrum for which we hold licenses nationwide. Additionally, FLO TV has and will continue to procure, aggregate and distribute content in service packages, which we will continue to make available on a wholesale basis to our wireless operator customers (whether they operate on CDMA, WCDMA or GSM) in the United States. In fiscal 2010, FLO TV expects to offer the FLO TV service on a subscription basis directly to consumers in the United States. FLO TV plans to provide the services for use in personal television devices, automotive devices and other portable device accessories. These devices are expected to be sold through various retail and distribution channels.
Our MediaFLO Technologies (MFT) division is developing MediaFLO technology and marketing it for deployment outside of the United States. The market for mobile TV remains nascent with numerous competing technologies and standards.
Our Display Business. We develop display technology for the full range of consumer-targeted mobile products. Our interferometric modulator (IMOD) display technology, based on a MEMS structure combined with thin film optics and sold under the “mirasol” brand, is expected to provide performance, power consumption and cost benefits as compared to current display technologies.
Our Engineering Resources. We have significant engineering resources, including engineers with substantial expertise in CDMA, OFDMA and a broad range of other technologies. Using these engineering resources, we expect to continue to develop new versions of CDMA, OFDMA and other technologies, develop alternative technologies for certain specialized applications (including multicast), participate in the formulation of new wireless telecommunications standards and technologies and assist in deploying wireless voice and data communications networks around the world.
As of September 27, 2009, we employed approximately 16,100 full-time, part-time and temporary employees. During fiscal 2009, the number of employees increased by approximately 700 primarily due to increases in engineering resources.