Facebook and Qualcomm will bring fast Wi-Fi to cities in mid-2019

Facebook and Qualcomm will bring fast Wi-Fi to cities in mid-2019

Facebook’s been talking Terragraph since way back during its 2016 F8 keynote. The social media giant’s ambitious plan to bring fast Wi-Fi to cities is taking another key step toward real world trials with the addition of Qualcomm. The chipmaking giant announced today that it will add the 60Ghz tech to its future chipsets, with plans to start trials in the middle of next year.

“It is based on the pre-802.11ay standard with enhancements provided by the Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset and the integrated software between Facebook and Qualcomm Technologies to support efficient outdoor operation and avoid interference in dense environments,” Qualcomm writes in the announcement.

San Jose has already been floated as a potential testing ground for the technology. It’s not the biggest U.S. city, but the Silicon Valley hub should prove a solid testing ground with its tech savvy population. The companies say the tech will be useful in lowering the cost of high-speed wireless and helping deliver connectivity to populated areas with significant obstacles, including those densely packed with buildings.

The latter, naturally, makes Terragraph a natural for urban environments, where digging up the ground for fiber is a nuisance, to say the least. Facebook is also looking to service more rural spots with its Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum (ARIES) system, a technology that was unveiled at the same F8 event.  

Source: Mobile – Techcruch

China closing in on massive new chip fund in bid to dominate US semiconductor industry

China closing in on massive new chip fund in bid to dominate US semiconductor industry

China’s government has made technological independence from the United States one of its highest priorities. And now it appears to be putting its money where its messaging has been.

According to The Wall Street Journal, China is close to finalizing a $47 billion investment fund that would finance semiconductor research and chip startup development. The fund, formally the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co., appears to be underwritten predominantly by government capital sources.

Such a fund has been rumored for months, with the size of the fund ranging widely. Just two weeks ago, Reuters reported the fund would be $19 billion, while Bloomberg reported $31.5 billion two months ago. The exact number appears to be under intense negotiation among the Chinese leadership, and is also responsive to the increasingly tense trade negotiations with the United States.

If the $47 billion number pans out, it would be identical in size to a $47 billion fund that was financed by Tsinghua University, China’s leading engineering university, to spur the development of an indigenous semiconductor industry back in 2015.

China is highly dependent on foreign tech in its semiconductor industry, importing 90 percent of its chips in order to power its fast-growing economy. The Chinese government has always been wary of that dependency, but its fears were heightened in recent weeks after the United States banned American companies from selling components to ZTE, a prominent Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has gone on something of an indigenous innovation tour in recent weeks, visiting factories across the country and encouraging further investment in the country’s technology industry. From the Communist Party of China’s official newspaper the People’s Daily two weeks ago, “National rejuvenation relies on the ‘hard work’ of the Chinese people, and the country’s innovation capacity must be raised through independent efforts, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.”

While the numbers discussed are eye-popping, so are the costs of developing leading-edge semiconductor technology. As semiconductors have grown more complex, costs have skyrocketed to maintain Moore’s Law. Intel spent more than $13 billion on R&D expenses alone in 2017, according to IC Insights, with Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Samsung each spending more than $3 billion.

While China may try to play catchup in the broad category of semiconductors, it is strategically placing its money on new areas like 5G wireless and artificial intelligence-focused chips where it might become a leading provider of technology. Concerns over 5G in particular have galvanized American attention on Qualcomm and its ability to compete in what is rare virgin territory in the telecom equipment space.

For American companies like Intel and Qualcomm, which are used to holding de facto monopolies on entire swaths of the semiconductor market, the renewed competition from China is going to pressure them to push their tech forward faster.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch

Broadcom gives up and drops Qualcomm bid

Broadcom gives up and drops Qualcomm bid
It was already a complicated deal, but it now looks like Broadcom’s plans to take over Qualcomm are done. The company announced that it would respect Donald Trump’s block and drop its Qualcomm bid.
“Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the order,” Broadcom said in a statement.
At one point, Broadcom was willing to pay $121 billion to acquire Qualcomm. It would have been the biggest tech acquisition of all time and a risky deal. But Qualcomm rejected the offer (without closing the door entirely).
After months of discussions, some Qualcomm shareholders became impatient. It led to a board shakeup with Executive Chairman Dr. Paul E. Jacobs leaving the board. Retrospectively, resisting Broadcom’s offer may have been the smartest move given the regulatory risks of the deal.
Trump’s administration said that Qualcomm’s acquisition represented a security risk. Broadcom is currently based in Singapore, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States didn’t want to let Qualcomm become a foreign company.
Broadcom has mentioned plans to relocate its headquarters to the U.S. And Reuters confirmed that it would still move to the U.S.
Qualcomm has been manufacturing systems-on-a-chip for Android phones as well as modems and other communications chips. In addition to this semiconductor business, Qualcomm earns a significant portion of its revenue from patent licensing deals. But Apple, South Korea and others don’t want to pay those fees anymore.
Broadcom also produces a ton of chips that you can find in all sorts of electronics devices, from networking to modems, GPUs and more. Chances are that all the devices that you have around you have one or multiple Qualcomm and Broadcom chips.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Qualcomm is pushing back its pivotal shareholder meeting this week amid a regulatory review

Qualcomm is pushing back its pivotal shareholder meeting this week amid a regulatory review
 Massive chipmaker Qualcomm, currently targeted by aggressive acquisition attempts by Broadcom, is now delaying a pivotal meeting with shareholders this week that would determine its fate going forward by at least a month to comply with regulators regarding the deal. The CFIUS — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — has requested that Qualcomm delay the… Read More

Source: Mobile – Techcruch