Friday, November 26, 2004

Upcoming patent wars over 3G cell phones?

In the past, there has not been much direct conflict between Texas Instruments Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. over cell phones by virtue of their focussing on different mobile technologies: in TI's case, the GSM standard used by 80 percent of mobile subscribers; for Qualcomm, the CDMA system used in parts of the United States and Asia.

In the future, with the advent of new standards for third-generation mobiles, the companies may compete on one another's turf.

from Reuters:

-->San Diego-based Qualcomm, as well as making chips for the 3G standard that will succeed CDMA, is tasting early success with its semiconductors for the GSM successor.

TI, likewise, is offering chips for both of the new technologies that will turn mobile phones into broadband Internet-enabled devices.

But Qualcomm has an advantage in that both 3G standards are based on its patented CDMA technology, as their names attest: the GSM successor is called WCDMA, while the plain CDMA networks are upgrading to CDMA 2000.

"Next year is going to be a brand new game," said Warren Lau, a semiconductor analyst at Macquarie Securities. "Qualcomm seems to be doing pretty well in Europe with their WCDMA chipsets. But I'm not sure if they can repeat their success in Asia." <--


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