Qualcomm strengthens 5G business with $3.1bn TDK deal

17 Sep 2019

The Qualcomm logo on the side of the company's Innovation Centre in Shenzhen. Image: Imaginechina-Editorial/Depositphotos

By purchasing TDK’s remaining interest in their joint venture, Qualcomm will bring the project in-house and provide customers with a complete end-to-end solution.

On Monday (16 September), Qualcomm announced “a significant milestone in its 5G strategy and leadership”.

The semiconductor and telecoms equipment manufacturer said that it would complete the acquisition of the remaining interest in RF360 Holdings, which was a joint venture with TDK Corporation.

In this venture, TDK and Qualcomm produced RF front-end (RFFE) filters that enabled Qualcomm to deliver 4G and 5G RFFE solutions. By acquiring RF360 in full, Qualcomm said that it will now be able to provide customers with a complete end-to-end solution from modem to antenna.

The San Diego company plans to buy out TDK’s remaining interest in the venture in a $3.1bn deal. The company says that this is the final step towards formally bringing its 20 years of expertise in RFFE filtering in-house.

The total purchase price includes the initial investment and payments to TDK based on sales by the joint venture, as well as development obligations. Last month, TDK’s remaining interest in the joint venture was valued at $1.15bn.

5G development

In a statement, the business said: “Qualcomm Technologies’ second generation RFFE solutions for its 5G portfolio will further enable OEM [original equipment manufacturer] customers to design thin, high-performance, battery-efficient 5G multimode devices at scale and on time.

“Due to the complexity of 5G, with its new spectrum and wider bandwidths, Qualcomm Technologies’ advanced RFFE solutions are very well-positioned to win future smartphone designs.”

Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, added: “Our goal in the formation of this joint venture was to enhance Qualcomm Technologies’ front-end solutions to enable us to deliver a truly complete solution to the mobile device ecosystem, and we have done exactly that.

“We are excited about the strong adoption of Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems in virtually all of our 150-plus 5G design wins. Our systems approach has created a benchmark for 5G RFFE performance.

“I look forward to celebrating even more innovation as we continue to invent breakthrough technologies on the path towards a 5G connected world. Additionally, I would like to thank our long-time partner TDK. We look forward to continued opportunities to collaborate and to bring leading products from both companies to the market in the years ahead,” Amon concluded.

Qualcomm logo on its Innovation Centre in Shenzhen. Image: Imaginechina-Editorial/Depositphotos

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic