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Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)

  • Jun. 18, 2014, 2:52 PM
    • Samsung's (SSNLF, SSNGY) Galaxy S5 LTE-A, launching today in South Korea, sports a 2560x1440 OLED display that's a marked improvement from the 1080p display found on the regular S5.
    • It also features Qualcomm's (QCOM -0.2%) flagship Snapdragon 805 (quad-core, 2.5GHz.) baseband/app processor - the regular S5 uses the Snapdragon 801 - and can handle theoretical max download speeds of 225Mbps thanks to its support for the LTE-Advanced standard.
    • The display and CPU are among the features rumored to be on a next-gen flagship called the Galaxy F. But two other features - OIS and a long-demanded metal case - aren't found in the S5 LTE-A.
    • The 805, first announced last November, sports a newer custom ARM CPU core than the 801 and 800 (Krait 450 vs. 400), as well as a faster GPU (Adreno 420 vs. 330) and more memory bandwidth.
    • A next-gen flagship CPU, the Snapdragon 810, will feature a 8 64-bit non-custom ARM cores (4 high-end cores and 4 low-power cores). It's expected to arrive in commercial hardware in 1H15, prior to the launch of a 64-bit flagship sporting custom cores.
    • Samsung's launch comes as Amazon unveils its Fire phone, which sports a less less powerful Snapdragon CPU (appears to be the 800 or 801).
  • Jun. 11, 2014, 10:34 AM
    • Rambus (RMBS) has struck a licensing deal with mobile chip giant Qualcomm (QCOM) that covers its memory, interface, and security IP. Terms are undisclosed.
    • As part of the deal, Qualcomm is licensing Rambus' new CryptoManager chip security platform, which (through a core integrated within an SoC) provides "a hardware root-of-trust for the secure provisioning, configuration, keying, and authentication of SoCs during chip and device manufacturing."
    • Qualcomm's chip division had FY13 (ended Sep. '13) revenue of $16.7M, and claims over 60% of the baseband processor market. Thus, even a small per-chip royalty could add up.
    • With the Qualcomm deal on the books, Rambus now expects Q2 revenue of $75M-$77M, up from a prior $69M-$74M and above a $71.4M consensus. Full-year guidance of $295M-$305M is reiterated.
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  • Jun. 2, 2014, 12:23 PM
    • After opening up 13% on news it's weighing a sale or wind-down of its baseband chip unit, Broadcom (BRCM) has pared its gains a bit.
    • One concern: Broadcom might little to nothing in a sale, given the baseband unit has been hemorrhaging cash and (as recently noted by CLSA) companies not named Qualcomm (QCOM +0.3%) or MediaTek have had a rough time turning a profit in the R&D-intensive business.
    • Broadcom is only 9 months removed from paying $164M for Renesas' 4G baseband unit. Since then, the company has reportedly scored 4G design wins, but has also warned of top-line pressures caused by 3G weakness.
    • Goldman notes Broadcom had only 4% of the 2013 baseband market (per Gartner), a tiny fraction of Qualcomm's 62%, and is set to lose share in 2014. The firm estimates Qualcomm gets a $0.02 EPS benefit for each percentage point it gains.
    • Goldman adds Broadcom has noted its low-end/mid-range combo chip sales could be pressured as more functionality gets integrated with baseband ICs; the company had 39% of the 2013 mobile connectivity market to Qualcomm's 20%. Likewise, Wells Fargo sees a baseband exit hurting Broadcom's combo chip position.
    • Texas Instruments, Freescale, and ST-Ericsson each wound up shutting down their baseband ops rather than selling them.
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  • May. 29, 2014, 2:36 AM
    • Qualcomm (QCOM) CEO Steve Mollenkopf has announced his wishes to be the chipmaker behind driverless technology. His statement comes after Google (GOOG, GOOGL) released its two passenger driverless prototype yesterday.
    • "If cars are really going to drive themselves one day, the eyes they use to see the road may come from Qualcomm," Mollenkopf says.
    • The company already has been increasing its capabilities of computer vision and peer-to-peer connections. The next step is to take it to driverless vision and connecting cars to each other.
  • May. 27, 2014, 1:40 PM
    • In a surprising move, Intel (INTC +1%) will work with Rockchip, a fabless Chinese chipmaker known for its ARM-based mobile processors, to develop a baseband/app processor based on Intel's SoFIA platform. The product will be aimed at the low-end tablet market.
    • The Intel/Rockchip solution will pair a quad-core Atom CPU with a 3G modem, and is expected to launch in 1H15. Intel already plans to offer a dual-core 3G SoFIA part for the large but cost-sensitive low-end Android phone market by Q4, and to offer a 4G version in 1H15.
    • Intel hopes the tie-up will help it be more price-competitive in a baseband/app processor market currently dominated by Qualcomm (QCOM +0.5%) and (to a lesser extent) MediaTek. Strategy Analytics estimates Qualcomm had 64% of the 2013 baseband market, MediaTek 12%, and Intel 8%.
    • The announcement comes as Intel gets set to launch Moorefield, a standalone app processor for sub-8" tablets. Moorefield is smaller and runs cooler than Bay Trail, which launched last fall.
    • Intel, which aims to ship 40M tablet CPUs this year, reported a giant $3.1B 2013 op. loss for its mobile reporting unit, thanks in part to marketing subsidies to OEMs. Morgan Stanley estimates the business will need to reach $8B-$10B/year in sales (up from 2013's $1.38B) to break even.
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  • May. 12, 2014, 7:55 AM
    • TheMarker reports Quallcomm (QCOM) is in talks to buy Israeli chipmaker Wilocity for ~$300M. Wilocity is said to have given a notice of sale to employees.
    • Wilocity, founded in 2007 by ex-Intel employees, develops chips and related firmware for the nascent WiGig (802.11ad) standard, which aims to act as an HDMI/USB alternative by enabling transfer speeds of up to 7Gbps between devices within 10 meters of each other (a much shorter range than Wi-Fi).
    • The purchase would complement Qualcomm's Atheros Wi-Fi chip unit, which already has a partnership with Wilocity and has been grabbing share from Broadcom (BRCM) in the mid-range Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip market - future combo chips with integrated WiGig seem likely.
    • Broadcom, which still controls the high-end combo chip space, also backs WiGig, as do Intel, Marvell, and Nvidia.
  • May. 1, 2014, 4:13 AM
    • Qualcomm (QCOM) has agreed to turn its location-awareness business into a separate company called Gimbal and sell a majority holding to a group of investors that includes AEG.
    • Financial details of the deal weren't provided.
    • Gimbal's technology enables retailers and sports venues to track the specific location of customers on their premises and send targeted ad messages. (PR)
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  • Apr. 23, 2014, 5:38 PM
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 4:47 PM
    • Along with its FQ2 results, Qualcomm (QCOM) discloses it has received a Wells Notice from the SEC's L.A. office over alleged Chinese bribery. The office recommends the SEC file an enforcement action against the company.
    • Qualcomm has made a Wells submission arguing it isn't violating federal international bribery laws, and doesn't believe action is needed. The company says it's continuing to cooperate with the SEC and DOJ.
    • Chinese regulators have been carrying out an antitrust probe of Qualcomm widely seen as an effort to obtain lower 4G royalty rates.
    • QCOM -4% AH.
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 4:05 PM
    • Qualcomm (QCOM): FQ2 EPS of $1.31 beats by $0.09.
    • Revenue of $6.37B (+4% Y/Y) misses by $110M.
    • 188M MSM chip shipments, in-line with guidance of 180M-195M.
    • Expects FQ3 revenue of $6.2B-$6.8B and EPS of $1.15-$1.25 vs. a consensus of $6.59B and $1.25, and MSM chip shipments of 198M-213M.
    • Expects FY14 revenue of $26B-$27.5B and EPS of $5.05-$5.25 vs. a consensus of $26.8B and $5.13. EPS guidance was previously at $5-$5.20.
    • Shares -2.6% AH.
    • Press Release
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 12:10 AM
  • Apr. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Apr. 18, 2014, 5:03 AM
    • Globalfoundries has agreed to license Samsung's (SSNLF) most advanced chipmaking technology, 14-nanometer FinFET, in a co-operation deal that analyst Jim McGregor says poses "a huge competitive threat" to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM), which controls around half of the $38.9B chip-foundry sector.
    • The collaboration could also make it more difficult for Intel (INTC) to gain a strong position in the foundry business, McGregor says.
    • The tie-up "provides an alternative to those companies that are looking to use leading-edge production." That could affect chip designers such as Qualcomm (QCOM).
  • Apr. 15, 2014, 11:33 AM
    • Amazon's (AMZN -1.9%) rumored smartphone will have a 4.7" display sporting a modest 720p resolution (most high-end Android phones are now at 1080p), sources tell BGR, which has published photos said to show a prototype.
    • The device also reportedly features Qualcomm's (QCOM +0.2%) Snapdragon processor (no model # is given), 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP rear camera. Qualcomm is already the CPU provider for the latest Kindle Fire tablets, and the just-launched Fire TV set-top.
    • BGR joins the WSJ in reporting the phone will have a 3D display enabled by four front-facing cameras (one at each corner) to complement regular rear and front cameras. The cameras allow Amazon to enable 3D viewing without the parallax barrier needed by other glasses-free solutions (hurts image quality) .
    • With the 3D display Amazon's main point of differentiation - Google-backed Android phones will have a major app/services ecosystem edge - Amazon is reportedly supporting 3D viewing "in as many areas as possible," including wallpapers, app icons, its maps app, and its media stores.
    • The WSJ reported Amazon plans to ship its phone in September after unveiling it in June. Re/code followed up by reporting a low-end phone is also on tap, and that Amazon is working hard to woo Android developers.
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  • Apr. 8, 2014, 7:13 PM
    • 9to5 Mac, fairly accurate with Apple (AAPL) scoops, has provided a lengthy review of the features its sources suggest will be included in iOS 8 and Mac OS X 10.10 (Syrah).
    • In addition to its previously-reported Healthbook app (meant to work with multiple health sensors), iOS 8 is expected to feature an overhauled Maps app with better transit data, a simplified Notification Center, Wi-Fi CarPlay support, and better app-to-app communication. Voice-over-LTE support and a separate iTunes Radio app might also be in the cards.
    • OS X 10.10 is expected to feature a major Jony Ive-led design overhaul to go with under-the-hood improvements. Apple is reportedly testing Siri and AirDrop support, but 9to5 Mac hasn't confirmed if those features will be ready in time.
    • Details on both operating systems are due at Apple's June 2-6 WWDC conference.
    • Hit-and-miss Digitimes reports Apple "plans to form an R&D team to develop baseband processors for use in iPhones to be released in 2015."
    • The iPhone and 4G iPad's baseband chips are currently supplied by Qualcomm (QCOM), which dominates the 4G baseband market and has used a massive R&D budget to develop a lead in fields such as frequency band support and category 6 LTE (300Mbps peak speeds) integration.
    • Apple has hired Amazon search VP Benoit Dupin. He reportedly will work on improving Apple Maps' search capabilities, which have received their share of criticism.
  • Apr. 8, 2014, 9:08 AM
    • Qualcomm (QCOM) declares $0.42/share quarterly dividend, 20.0% increase from prior dividend of $0.35.
    • Forward yield 2.15%
    • Payable June 25; for shareholders of record June 4; ex-div May 30.
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Company Description
Qualcomm Inc develops digital communication technology called CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), & owns intellectual property applicable to products that implement any version of CDMA including patents, patent applications & trade secrets.