Tuesday morning in Barcelona, at the Mobile World Congress trade show, Qualcomm's (QCOM) president, Cristiano Amon, presided over a press conference to discuss how their technology fits in with the emergent 5G wireless broadband standard.
The slogan by the stage read, "The company that made 4G a thing, now brings you 5G."
And below it, "Qualcomm: Inventing the tech the world loves."
The presser followed an acrimonious exchange on Monday between the company and Broadcom (AVGO).
"There's always an announcement coming out of Qualcomm these days," said Amon, to laughter from the assembled.
Fittingly, the most intriguing announcement of news at this show was that the company is offering parts that would compete, it hopes, more aggressively with Broadcom.
Amon said the company has developed " filters " for phones that uses technologies, called " BAW " and " SAW," that Amon said had finally achieved "parity" with FBAR, parts for which Broadcom is broadly known.
Other players in RF chips are Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) and Qorvo (QRVO).
Amon said the technology, dubbed " Hexaplexer," will show up in devices in the second half of this year, and that it is "in the process now of working with OEMs."
Down the road, Amon explained, Qualcomm intends to use its dominance in the " baseband " radio modem to "tune" the filters, giving it a presumable advantage for highly integrated parts.
"We're very excited," said Amon. "It took us a while to get to this point."
On that score, one audience member pointed out that earlier Qualcomm efforts in RF had not gotten its parts into many devices. "Why should we believe you," the audience member asked.
Amon responded first with the rueful remark that "we found out digital guys can't do RF," but then followed up with a lengthy defense, saying Qualcomm had learned from earlier mistakes:
We did see, in the early days of 4G, that there was a big opportunity, but our approach was not the right one. The digital guys needed to learn a lot about analog. It's difficult to build a brand new core competancy. We've been on a journey. The team that runs our entire RF business, that came from TDK, and other acquisitions, it took that much time to be able to build the capability. But, we won those designs on the merits. We are winning those now without the platform pull and because of the capabilities.
Qualcomm shares today are indicated to be up about a buck, in early trading, at $67.11.