The Qualcomm Thread

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Dr. AMK, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Can Qualcomm Close This NXP Semiconductors Merger Anytime Soon?
    https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/02/16/can-qualcomm-close-this-nxp-semiconductors-merger.aspx
    Qualcomm still hopes to complete the deal shortly, with just one more regulatory approval left unsigned.

    Chip giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has updated its tender offer for every share of automotive computing expert NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) again. The number of shares committed to Qualcomm's $110 all-cash offer per NXP have been dwindling over the last year, with a temporary respite in October.

    Let's have a look at the new state of affairs.

    By the numbers
    When NXP shareholders commit their stubs to Qualcomm's offer, the shares may be withdrawn at any time. Here's the latest tally:
    q.JPG
    DATA SOURCE: QUALCOMM.

    What's new?
    Qualcomm reported the updated numbers without any commentary or background material, a common practice since last summer. European regulators gave their final thumbs-up four weeks ago, removing one of the last remaining roadblocks and setting the stage for a quick South Korean approval. At this point, only China hasn't given the go-ahead for Qualcomm to complete its NXP buyout.

    Beyond this, the only additional detail would be the fact that this extension of the tender offer will expire at the close of business on Feb. 23. That's actually noteworthy, because Qualcomm's tender offer renewals have been arriving in monthly intervals so far. This time, it's just a two-week gap. Does this indicate a greater chance that the deal could be completed before this expiration? I hesitate to make that suggestion, because it flies in the face of lukewarm investor interest, but can't deny that it looks like a logical explanation.

    "The transaction is expected to close in early 2018," according to the press materials -- a verbatim quote from the January update. It's still pretty early, so I might not be wrong after all.

    [​IMG]
    IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.


    What's next?
    According to Qualcomm CFO George Davis, Qualcomm could complete this deal very quickly following Chinese approvals, putting down the final John Hancock as soon as three weeks later.

    Shareholders might disagree, though. Activist analyst firm Elliott Advisors continues to push for a higher closing price, looking for a final price tag north of $135 per share. NXP shares continue to trade above Qualcomm's committed $110 offer per share, clocking in at $118.50 on Feb. 16. Meeting Elliott's demands would add another $8.5 billion to an already huge $38 billion deal price, and Qualcomm would need to come up with that additional cash somehow -- or add a share-based component to this all-cash agreement.

    But that idea could actually work in Qualcomm's favor. The company is battling a hostile takeover attempt by fellow chip designer Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO). Overpaying for NXP on purpose could drive that unwelcome suitor away. Qualcomm would be cutting off its nose to spite its face, sure, but stranger things have happened. This type of move would involve an even larger increase than the $135 per share suggested by Elliott Advisors.

    This three-way merger drama will play out one way or another in the next couple of months, and it's not at all obvious how the play will end. Take a seat; I'll bring the popcorn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  2. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Reveals Snapdragon 700 SoC Series Bringing Flagship Features To Premium Mid-Range Phones
    Read more at https://hothardware.com/news/qualco...es-to-semi-premium-phones#m42R6Dj2uolDqc2S.99
    [​IMG]
    When it comes to today's Android smartphones, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8xx series of processors get the bulk of the attention. Last year, it was the Snapdragon 835, while this year it is the Snapdragon 845. However, what about customers that want a taste of the "premium life" lavished on flagship devices in more affordable phones? That's where Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 700 series comes into play.
    Qualcomm's current family of SoCs encompass the Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 and 800 series. The Snapdragon 200 carries the torch for the low-end market, while the Snapdragon 400 and 600 tackle the mid-range market, with the Snapdragon 800 of course handling the high-end. Given its numbering scheme, the Snapdragon 700 series is looking to occupy a tiny sliver of a niche between the mid-range and premium phone segments.

    While Qualcomm isn't given us any concrete details on the Snapdragon 700 series like core counts and clock speeds, it is quick to point out that the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine from the Snapdragon 800 series is included. On the performance side of things, all Qualcomm is stating at this time is that it the Snapdragon 700 series offers a 2x uplift for on-device AI applications compared to the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform. And with the Spectra ISP, Kryo CPU and Adreno Visual Processing subsystem, the company further adds that up to a 30 percent improvement in power efficiency can be obtained compared to the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform.

    image: https://hothardware.com/ContentImages/NewsItem/43724/content/snapdragon700_banner.jpg

    [​IMG]


    Given what we've seen with the Adreno 600 series GPU in the Snapdragon 845 during our performance review, expect to similar performance from the Snapdragon 700 series in cheaper smartphones.

    “The Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series will bring premium tier technologies and features into more affordable devices, something our global OEM customers and consumers are demanding,” said Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM for Mobile at Qualcomm Technologies. “From our cutting-edge Qualcomm AI Engine to superior camera, device performance and power, the Snapdragon 700 Series is optimized to support the experiences consumers have come to expect from the most advanced mobile devices at a lower price point.”

    Qualcomm made it a point in its press release announcing this new chip family that it is targeting the "increasing demands of the China smartphone ecosystem", so we could see the Snapdragon 700 series arrive in devices from the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO (among others). It remains to be seen if other hardware OEMs like Samsung, LG, and Motorola will also adopt the chips to squeeze in another tier in their vast smartphone portfolios.

    The first commercial samples of the Snapdragon 700 series processors will ship to customers during the first half of 2018.
     
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  3. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Re-engages Broadcom Over Blockbuster Acquisition, Pricing Remains A Concern
    Read more at https://hothardware.com/news/qualco...remains-a-primary-concern#kaBq45TkkHvB48yH.99
    [​IMG]

    Will they, or won't they? Qualcomm up until this point has rebuffed all of Broadcom's advances with regards to a hostile takeover. Broadcom made the first move back in November 2017, and followed up with a second offer valuing Qualcomm at roughly $120 billion.

    Shortly after the second offer was made, Qualcomm responded, "Broadcom proposal materially undervalues Qualcomm and falls well short of the firm regulatory commitment the Board would demand given the significant downside risk of a failed transaction."

    It appears that Qualcomm is now having second thoughts about the total rejection and is warming up to additional talks with Broadcom. The two companies had a face-to-face on February 23rd to discuss a possible deal, and the talks seem to have gone well. According to Qualcomm, "the meeting led to further progress toward a possible negotiated transaction on key issues other than price."

    The main sticking points seem to surround pricing, with Qualcomm asserting that both of Broadcom's previous offers of $79 per share and $82 per share materially undervalues the company. On the pricing front, Qualcomm feels that it is uniquely positioned in the emerging 5G movement and that its impending acquisition of NXP should be taken into account with any future negotiations.

    image: https://hothardware.com/ContentImages/NewsItem/43716/content/Broadcom.jpg

    [​IMG]
    Qualcomm has a firm grip on LTE modem market share for the smartphone market, and there are no signs that that position will diminish in the coming years with 5G modems (although Intel is looking to make a strong push in the sector). In addition, Qualcomm also has an enviable position as a supplier of SoCs for the majority of Android smartphones on the market with its Snapdragon family of products. There is also Qualcomm's huge war chests of patents to consider.

    Qualcomm Chairman Paul E. Jacobs sent a letter to Broadcom's Hock Tan outlining what Qualcomm wants to get out of any potential transaction. At the forefront, Jacobs encourages Broadcom to enter into an NDA and address concerns over regulatory approval. To that end, Qualcomm is promoting a termination fee of 9 percent of enterprise value that would be payable if the transaction is "terminated other than due to a breach of the agreement by Qualcomm or our failure to obtain stockholder approval."

    Qualcomm is also asking for greater transparency with regards to how it will be able to conduct its licensing business during the murky period between agreeing to a deal and the final closing of the transaction. "You still declined to disclose any information regarding your plans to change how the licensing business would be structured and operated after closing, based on your belief that such disclosure is not permissible under antitrust law," writes Jacobs.

    "We do not believe that is the case and we have heard from stockholders, research analysts and customers that you have briefed them on your plans at a high level. We continue to believe that we need visibility into those plans beyond what we are hearing in order to fully assess the antitrust risks and value implications of a transaction with Broadcom."

    Qualcomm stock has been underperforming relatively to its rivals for years, which explains why Broadcom sees a buying opportunity in the first place. But the realities of hard disagreements over the transaction price and the potential for regulators to scuttle the deal a real concern. Parnassus Investments' chief Jerry Dodson, whose firm holds 8.3 million Qualcomm shares, told the LA Times that he feels the deal has a 50 percent chance of surviving if approved by shareholders.
     
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  4. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Simulates Blazing Fast 5G Wireless Speeds That Users Will Someday Experience
    Read more at https://hothardware.com/news/qualco...-users-someday-experience#fUz4bayZSp8dwj2G.99
    [​IMG]
    Wireless carriers have already started extolling the benefits of 5G over existing 4G LTE networks, the primary one being raw speed. 5G reckons to be much faster than 4G, which could open up a new world of possibilities on mobile. The question, how much faster will 5G actually be in real-world settings? Qualcomm has been conducting simulated tests over the past several months to answer that very question, and the results are pretty exciting.

    "There is a lot of interest from various stakeholders in the mobile ecosystem—cloud platform providers, application developers, device OEMs, and others—in understanding the real-world performance that 5G NR mobile networks and devices will deliver," said Alex Holcman, senior vice president of engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "We undertook this comprehensive study to help the ecosystem prepare for the foray into 5G, so that application developers, for example, can begin planning new experiences and services for users with 5G devices."

    Qualcomm conducted two separate sets of simulations. The first one modeled an NSA 5G NR network in Frankfurt, Germany, operating on 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum, with an underlying gigabit LTE network operating across five LTE spectrum bands. And the second simulation modeled a hypothetical NSA 5G NR network in San Francisco, California, operating in 800MHz of 28GHz mmWave spectrum, with an underlying gigabit LTE network across four licensed LTE spectrum bands plus License Assisted Access (LAA) bands.

    In the Frankfurt simulation, Qualcomm saw up to whopping 900 percent gain in "browsing download" speeds, which increased from 56Mbps for the median 4G user to more than 490Mbps for the median 5G user. Qualcomm also observed a massive improvement in latency, which drop from 116ms to just 17ms. While Qualcomm did not talk about the implications of this, one thing that immediately comes to mind is online multiplayer gaming.

    Testing in San Francisco yield impressive results, too. Download speeds increased from 71Mbps for the median 4G user to 1.4Gbps for the median 5G uers in mmWave coverage, representing an eye popping 2,000 percent improvement. Qualcomm also observiced file download speeds of more than 186Mbps for 90 percent of 5G users, compared to 10Mbps for LTE. The media 5G file download speed was 442Mbps.

    "The results from the 5G Network Capacity Simulation lend credence to the promise of 5G, with expected real-world performance that is substantially better than what is currently possible with 4G across multiple metrics. The findings also illustrate that these emerging 5G networks will have the capacity and performance to support a whole host of new services and experiences beyond the traditional categories of browsing, downloading, and streaming," Qualcomm said.

    Qualcomm's data hits the web just days after Intel laid out its plans for implementing 5G wireless on future smartphones and laptops. Interestingly enough, Intel mentioned gaming as one of the beneficiaries of 5G, and Qualcomm's data seems to support that notion.
     
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  5. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm shares details on its vision for the near-future of mobile VR
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/21/q...-its-vision-for-the-near-future-of-mobile-vr/
    [​IMG]
    Qualcomm is ready to show off more about what its Snapdragon 845 system architecture can do for the future of VR.

    Even as headsets based on the Snapdragon 835 reference design — like Lenovo’s positionally tracked Daydream headset — are just gearing up for their stateside release, we’re already looking to what the future of VR that isn’t tethered to something else looks like. Today, Qualcomm showed off a reference design centered around its latest mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 845.

    The big highlights here of the 845 reference headset are room-scale positional tracking via a pair of onboard cameras, eye-tracking and 2K per eye resolution displays. Performance bumps (30 percent faster graphics) also mean greater power efficiency (another 30 percent increase).

    It’s pretty impressive the technical leaps that mobile virtual reality has been making as specially optimized SoCs from Qualcomm have led the way to standalone devices that can deliver sophisticated experiences. Features like full room-scale tracking will allow mobile standalone systems to start working toward what users of PC-based and gaming console-based virtual reality systems enjoy.

    At a later date the company will be sharing more details on its plans for VR controllers on the 845 reference design. For now, they’ve detailed that they will have support for vision-based options, assumedly similar to what Microsoft has done with its Windows Mixed Reality controllers, and controllers based on ultrasound technology, about which we’ll have to wait for more details.

    A surprise inclusion on the system is the addition of eye-tracking, styled for the sake of utilizing a technology that focuses high-resolution graphics on the center of your vision to account for the biology of how your eyes work. Foveated rendering will be included in the specs for the reference design and will allow a pair of cameras to track where your eyes are looking and will adjust the resolution to lighten the load on the graphics processing. This can allow for increased battery life or higher resolution displays.

    This is just a reference design, so there’s nothing to buy quite yet — but in the coming months, as device manufacturers get on board, there will be a lot more to talk about.
     
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  6. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    [​IMG]
    Broadcom isn’t buying Qualcomm. Now what?
    https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/610532/broadcom-isnt-buying-qualcomm-now-what/

    Tech’s biggest-ever takeover deal is now officially off the table, and there’s no shortage of speculation about what might happen next.

    Dead deal: Broadcom withdrew its $117 billion offer to acquire Qualcomm this morning.

    Next for Broadcom: It says it will continue with its plans to relocate its HQ to the US. (It’s worth noting that if it had done that sooner, it might have escaped the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review that ultimately led President Trump to block the deal.)

    And for Qualcomm: It got what it wanted—it’s been trying to resist the takeover ever since Broadcom launched it. (It spent 100 times more in lobbying than Broadcom.) But the New York Times notes that it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire: the US Federal Trade Commission and Apple both claim that some of the company’s practices are illegal, and investors are unhappy about its performance. It will hope that a planned acquisition of Dutch chipmaker NXP can ease those latter concerns.

    Part of a war: DealBook notes that the dropped deal could place Qualcomm in the midst of fierce governmental protectionism. The US government’s reason for nixing the Broadcom acquisition involved concerns that it could harm America’s lead in developing 5G wireless technology and allow China to seize control. The same anti-foreign feeling could affect Qualcomm’s NXP takeover and extend to other tech sectors as well.

    Not for sale: As Bloomberg notes, if there’s one firm takeaway from this whole ordeal, it’s that the US has no plans for foreign firms to acquire its semiconductor businesses. Chip firms have been clamoring to acquire each other in recent years (to boost efficiency and, in turn, profit). America’s stance could make that more difficult.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  7. wyvernV2

    wyvernV2 Notebook Evangelist

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    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 “Fusion Platform” will include the SDX50 5G Modem and probably world's first 7nm mobile SoC.

    The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 was officially announced in December. We’re starting to see more smartphones launch with Qualcomm’s newest flagship system-on-chip. The US/China variant of the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Asus ZenFone 5Z, the Sony Xperia XZ2, and XZ2 Compact all feature the chip. This list will only continue to grow over the remainder of this year. Even though the Snapdragon 845 is yet to actually reach the hands of consumers, we’re already hearing about its successor, the Snapdragon 855.

    Up until now, details about the Snapdragon 855 have been scarce. We know it will be manufactured on a 7nm process, a step ahead of the 10nm LPP process used for the Snapdragon 845. In the past, reports have stated that the SoC will be manufactured by TSMC, but apart from that, all other details remain blank.

    Now, Roland Quandt has found an official Softbank Japan earnings presentation that mentions the Snapdragon 855. The presentation confirms that Snapdragon 855 is the official name of the Snapdragon 845’s successor and it’s codenamed SDM855. It will be branded by Qualcomm as the “Snapdragon 855 Fusion Platform” along with the SDX50 5G modem, which has already been announced by the company. The SDX50 5G modem is stated to be commercially available in 2019.

    The reason behind the “Fusion Platform” branding is unknown. In the past, they’ve used the “Mobile Platform” branding because of the view that system-on-chips are more than just a CPU paired with a GPU. Instead, they focus more on other components of the SoC such as the Hexagon 685 DSP and the Spectra 280 ISP. The “Fusion Platform” represents a shift from the “Mobile Platform” branding. It’s worth noting that Apple used the “Fusion” branding with the Apple A10 SoC in 2016.

    The most probable reason for the “Fusion” branding is to signify the combination of the chip with the SDX50 5G modem. 5G smartphones will launch next year, and the combination of the Snapdragon 855 with the SDX50 5G modem looks to be a potentially significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 845. At this point, details about the SDM855’s architecture aren’t known. There’s still a long time before the official unveiling. We expect to learn more information about the chip in the coming months.
     
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  8. Vinni Calvin

    Vinni Calvin Newbie

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  9. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 First Look at Computex 2018
     
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  10. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chip is exclusively for Windows 10
     
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