), globally the largest chipset maker for mobile devices, has taken
two significant steps to develop advanced WiFi chipsets utilizing
the super fast 60GHz technology. Management stated that these two
strategic decisions will completely overhaul the existing WiFi
ecosystem for mobile, computing and networking devices. Qualcomm
currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
First, Qualcomm has taken over Wilocity Ltd., a leading Israeli
developer of 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on IEEE 802.11 ad
standard, popularly known as WiGig technology. Though WiGig is a
much more close-range technology than WiFi, it utilizes a series of
frequencies in the 60 GHz band to deliver multigigabit data
transfer speeds. Although the financial terms of the deal have been
kept under wraps, some industry sources rumored that the deal is
valued at around $300 million.
Second, Qualcomm is in the process to develop a tri-band
platform that will integrate its WiFi technology from the
previously acquired Atheros Communications Inc. with the newly
acquired WiGig solutions to significantly enhance the performance
of wireless applications.
The tri-band reference design is based on Qualcomm's
state-of-the-art Snapdragon 810 platform. The technology will
enable 4K video streaming from the phone to the TV, peer-to-peer
content sharing, networking, wireless docking, and instantaneous
cloud access. The shipment of these products is expected to start
The WiFi market has become a major growth driver for telecom
operators and chipset developers. In Feb 2014, research firm WeFi
Inc. reported that the number of commercial WiFi hotspots is
expected to reach 10.55 million in 2018 in the U.S. while the
amount of mobile data offloaded in WiFi networks had jumped a
tremendous 875% in the U.S. in 2013.
In 2011, Qualcomm acquired Atheros in an attempt to enter the
WiFi chipset market led by
). This acquisition transformed Qualcomm into an integrated chipset
developer for the mobile computing market and helped the company to
foray into the consumer electronics segment, particularly in the
home networking market. Atheros manufactures WiFi chips for TVs,
video games, printers, and other home devices.
On the other hand, despite the presence of a strong competitor
), Wilocity is the leading manufacturer of the 60 GHz wireless
chipset designed to run on tri-band WiFi platform. Wilocity's
chipset facilitates almost instantaneous transfer of huge media
files between devices in a local area network.
In Jan 2014, Qualcomm acquired a portfolio of patents from
). The patent portfolio covers a wide range of technologies that
include fundamental mobile operating system techniques to enable
Qualcomm to aggressively expand into the global mobility
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