Qualcomm to power luxury car infotainment systems for Mercedes and BMW
On Tuesday, Qualcomm, the prominent U.S. semiconductor company, announced its agreement to provide chips for in-car infotainment systems to the prestigious automakers Mercedes and BMW. Qualcomm, which dominates the smartphone chip market, has seen a decline in that sector over the past year.
As per Reuters, despite falling short of analyst estimates in the smartphone sector, Qualcomm has been actively collaborating with automakers to support a range of functions in vehicles. This includes powering not only infotainment systems but also advanced driver assistance systems. In its most recent quarter, the company experienced a 13 per cent growth in automotive revenue.
In a statement, Qualcomm announced its intention to provide BMW with chips designed to enhance voice command functionality within their vehicles. Additionally, Qualcomm will supply chips for the upcoming iteration of Mercedes E class models, set to be released in the United States in 2024.
During an interview at the Munich auto show, Chief Executive Cristiano Amon stated that the company anticipates achieving $4 billion in revenue from the automotive sector by 2026, with this figure projected to increase to $9 billion by the end of the decade.
In late 2022, the U.S. chip designer had disclosed that its automotive business "pipeline" amounted to $30 billion. This impressive figure was attributed to the widespread adoption of its Snapdragon Digital Chassis product by car manufacturers and their suppliers, facilitating the integration of assisted and autonomous driving technology, as well as in-car infotainment and cloud connectivity.
"One of the things we're very focused on in the company is to find new areas for growth… automotive is one of those areas," Amon said.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm has recently appointed Savi Soin as the President of Qualcomm India on August 3. He will be responsible for guiding the company's strategy in the Indian market. The statement said, “Qualcomm Incorporated today announced the appointment of Savi Soin as senior vice president and president of Qualcomm India," reported PTI.
(With inputs from Reuters)
Source: Live Mint
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Qualcomm And Apple Sign New 5G Chip Deal For iPhones Until 2026
(Reuters) - Qualcomm on Monday said it had signed a new deal with Apple to supply 5G chips to the iPhone maker until at least 2026. Qualcomm, whose shares rose more than 8% in premarket trading, is the leading designer of what are known as modem chips that connect phones to mobile data networks.
The San Diego, California-based firm previously signed a supply deal with Apple in 2019, after the two companies settled a protracted legal battle.
That chip supply agreement ends this year, meaning that the iPhones that Apple is expected to announce Tuesday would be the last phone debut under that agreement.
Under the deal announced Monday, Qualcomm said it will supply Apple with chips for phones that will come out each year until 2026. Qualcomm did not disclose the value of the deal, saying only that the terms are "similar" to its previous agreement.
Qualcomm also said that a patent licensing deal it signed with Apple in 2019 remains in place. That deal expires in 2025, but the companies have an option to extend it for two years.
Apple is working on its own modem technology and spent $1 billion to buy Intel's modem unit in 2019. Apple has not said how quickly it plans to ramp up the use of its own chips.
Qualcomm on Tuesday said that its financial projections will assume that only a fifth of Apple's iPhones will use its chips by 2026. However, Qualcomm made a similar projection about its business with Apple in 2021 that turned out to be overly conservative, with iPhone 14 models released last year all using Qualcomm modems.
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BMW bets on a
BMW is once again turning to the "Neue Klasse" brand - this time as an electric vehicle - as the German automaker seeks to replicate past successes to catch up with trailblazer Tesla.
During the early 1960s, BMW was a struggling enterprise with an uncertain future, overshadowed by Volkswagen , Mercedes-Benz and the giants of Detroit.
The company's leaders put all their chips behind a new car they called the "Neue Klasse," or "new class." Launched in 1962 as the BMW 1800, the Neue Klasse set the German automaker on course to become "the ultimate driving machine" company and one of the most successful brands in any industry.
Now, BMW is at another crossroads, and is turning again to a "Neue Klasse" to drive a new strategic direction.
BMW debuted at the Munich autoshow on Saturday a prototype for a "Neue Klasse" electric vehicle (EV) roughly the size of the current 3-series, the company's best-selling model line.
The show car features panoramic information "head-up" displays projected on the windshield, as well as some traditional BMW design elements such as a distinctive angle - the Hofmeister kink named for the designer of the original Neue Klasse - in the rear side windows and the dashboard screen.
We want to make this vehicle generation so modern that it looks like we skipped one generation," BMW Chief Designer Adrian van Hooydonk said. "That is necessary because of those new players that are coming in. You know the debate that's been going on: Oh, traditional OEM (manufacturer) over 100 years old, can you make this step? We can and we want to.
The show car previews a multibillion-euro effort to jump the technology gap with Tesla and other EV makers that are winning customers with models and software-driven features many current BMWs do not match.
That is despite BMW being relatively early to embrace EVs with the launch of the i3 compact in 2013 - a car that never shifted large volumes and was eventually discontinued in 2022.
"Neue Klasse is by far the biggest investment in our history. Because the technology we are using all over BMW is all new in all areas, without exception," Frank Weber, BMW's chief technology officer, said in an interview ahead of the Munich event.
BMW executives did not disclose the total investment figures. The company is investing 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion)in new battery-making and assembly operations for the Neue Klasse at a plant in Hungary, one of the first factories to start building the vehicles.
When real Neue Klasse vehicles start to go down assembly lines in 2025, they will arrive 13 years after Tesla launched the Model S and redefined the ultimate driving machine for many affluent customers. Tesla and other EV startups already use key elements of the Neue Klasse design, such as a battery pack that forms part of the vehicle's body structure to reduce weight and assembly cost.
BMW's new compact models will enter a competitive segment where Tesla has started a price war. BMW has not announced prices for the Neue Klasse.
“It will be a very competitive offer," Chief Executive Oliver Zipse told reporters ahead of the show. "We will not price ourselves out of this market."
Tesla has also redrawn the business model around the vehicle - selling directly to customers, using over-the-air software upgrades to add features and constantly capturing vehicle data to improve driver assistance and other features.
"There is a multi faceted transformation that needs to take place" for established automakers such as BMW, said Evangelos Simoudis, a Silicon Valley venture capital investor and expert on vehicle software strategies.
Neue Klasse vehicles will be powered by 48-millimeter-diameter cylindrical batteries in different lengths. The batteries are similar in size and shape to those Tesla plans to use in its Cybertruck and other models.
The Neue Klasse is targeting a 50% reduction in battery pack costs and 25% more range per kilowatt-hour, a measure of efficiency, executives said.
BMW has begun overhauling its Main assembly plant in Munich, adjacent to the company's headquarters, to build Neue Klasse vehicles, which will eventually replace current combustion models including the 3-series sedan and X3 utility vehicles.
The software systems and battery technology behind the Neue Klasse vehicles will be as challenging for BMW as the manufacturing transformation, if not more so.
Neue Klasse vehicles will have four "super brains," to control propulsion, driver assistance systems, infotainment and other functions, Weber said. BMW is developing the driver assistance system with chipmaker Qualcomm. It is developing the propulsion and chassis controllers in-house, Weber said.
BMW is rolling the dice on using head-up displays, projected on the windshield, to counter the large video screens Tesla, Mercedes and others are using to pipe maps, music, conference calls and video games to drivers and passengers. Small head-up displays have been offered by automakers for years.
"We are convinced head-up is the best way to display information," said Stephan Durach, senior vice president for connected company development.
Developing the large-scale windshield displays has not been easy, Durach said in an interview. "It goes deep into the overall architecture of the car. You get rid of the instrument cluster, you do your steering wheels in a different way."
($1 = 0.9263 euros) (Reporting by Joe White Editing by Mark Potter)
Source: Live Mint
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Former Qualcomm CEO to Lead Company Powering Apple’s Satellite-Text Service
Former Qualcomm boss Paul Jacobsis taking over as chief executive of Globalstar, a satellite company that supports Apple’s emergency-communications capabilities.
Jacobs, the son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, served as CEO of Qualcomm from 2005 to 2014 and helped turn the chip maker into a stalwart servicing the smartphone industry. He was ousted from the company's board in 2018 after pursuing a long-shot bid to take Qualcomm private.
He has spent the past five years focused on his wireless-technology startup Xcom Labs, which Jacobs said has developed technology to boost the capacity of wireless spectrum, among other advances. Globalstar, which in 2021 formed a strategic alliance with Xcom, will license that and other technology from the startup.
Globalstarhas agreed to issue about 60 million shares of common stock, worth some $64 million, to Xcom as a licensingfee. Globalstar has a market value of about $1.9 billion, as of Monday's market close.
Shares of Globalstar rose almost 24% to $1.31 in midday trading.
The satellite company has also hired a number of Xcom executives, including some former Qualcomm executives, to join Jacobs. Some of the Xcom executives contributed years ago to the development of the original Globalstar system through their work at Qualcomm, said Jay Monroe, who has been Globalstar chairman since 2004 when his private-equity firm bought the company out from bankruptcy.
The combination of Globalstar's spectrum holdings and its satellite fleet, along with Xcom's capacity-boosting technology, will help the company gain ground in powering private networks for mission-critical applications, Jacobs said. “That is like having another piece of the differentiation puzzle," said Jacobs.
Jacobs said he took the Globalstar job because it seemed like a good cultural fit, adding that running a midsize company was appealing.
Jacobs, who will also join Globalstar's board, succeeds David Kagan, who took over as the company's chief executive in 2018. Jacobs has a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science and has over 80 U.S. patents in the field of wireless technology and devices.
Like its peers, Louisiana-based Globalstar has for years struggled to make its constellation of satellites profitable amid hefty maintenance costs.
Last year, Globalstar struck a deal with Apple to power the iPhone maker's emergency-texting system, a partnership that gave Globalstar a deep-pocketed customer and a steady stream of revenue. Apple's emergency-texting system, called Emergency SOS, enables all iPhone 14 models to send messages to emergency services via a satellite connection when outside of a cellular range.
Apple said it would invest some $450 million in infrastructure for its emergency-satellite service, with most of that going to Globalstar to upgrade aging satellites.
The deal also kicked off a race for others to develop and commercialize comparable technology.
Globalstar executives, though, have for years been searching for ways to generate revenue from the company's spectrum rights by serving on-the-ground private networks. On a conference call in May, Monroe, the chairman, teased that a couple of such deals were under way with others. “We are in deal mode," he said.
Fleets of satellites in orbits near Earth can provide mobile-phone users with basic service options when they are out of reach of cell towers, companies and executives say. The expensive satellite links are unlikely to soon replace the data-rich internet connections offered by cellular networks on the ground, but with enough improvement, they could help fill gaps.
Globalstar and Apple aren't alone in pursuing the technology. So-called direct-to-device satellite communications have attracted new entrants and fresh capital in recent years. Elon Musk's SpaceX is working with cell carrier T-Mobile to test the technology while AT&T is working with AST SpaceMobile. Jacobs' former company, Qualcomm, is also working with Iridiumto bring satellite texting to Android devices.
Despite a handful of high-profile deals in the space, industry executives have said it would take years for satellite-texting technology to expand beyond emergency services, or generate meaningful revenue.
“But it is clear, even from the current limited reach of the iPhone 14, that SOS services on smartphones do save lives, and that's something we want to be part of," Iridium chief executive Matthew Desch told investors on a conference call in July.
Source: Live Mint
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