Qualcomm completes $3bn acquisition to drive 5G era
Qualcomm has completed the acquisition of the remaining interest in RF360 Holdings, a joint venture with TDK Corporation.
TDK Electronics’ (formerly EPCOS) remaining interest in the joint venture was valued at $1.15 billion in August 2019. The total purchase price, including the initial investment, payments to TDK based on sales by the joint venture, and development obligations, will be approximately $3.1 billion.
The acquisition represents a significant milestone in Qualcomm’s 5G strategy and leadership, strengthening its RF business and paving the way for future growth. The joint venture has produced RF front-end (RFFE) filters which enable Qualcomm Technologies to deliver complete 4G/5G RFFE solutions. The deal is the final step to formally bring more than 20 years of expertise in RFFE filtering in-house.
“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,” said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm.
“We are excited about the strong adoption of Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems in virtually all of our 150+ 5G design wins. Our systems approach has created a benchmark for 5G RFFE performance.”
With this acquisition, Qualcomm Technologies is able to provide customers a complete end-to-end solution from modem to antenna, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System, including the world’s first commercial 5G NR sub-6 and mmWave solutions, integrating power amplifiers, filters, multiplexers, antenna tuning, LNAs, switching and envelope tracking products.
Qualcomm Technologies’ second generation RFFE solutions for its 5G portfolio will further enable OEM customers to design thin, high-performance, battery-efficient 5G multi-mode devices at scale and on time. Qualcomm Technologies’ system-level innovations such as wideband envelope tracking and adaptive antenna tuning intelligently combine the modem and RFFE to help achieve best-in-class 4G/5G power efficiency, data speeds and coverage. 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.
Qualcomm Technologies now has one of the broadest portfolios of RFFE products, including integrated and discrete micro-acoustic components utilising RFFE filter technologies such as BAW, SAW, TC-SAW, as well as Thin Film SAW, all of which are core to developing and producing filters, duplexers, multiplexers for discrete, power amplifiers and diversity modules, as well as n-plexers and extractors for the very complex front end necessary for today’s leading mobile phones and connected devices.
Amon added: “I am very pleased to formally welcome to Qualcomm the talented employees of the joint venture, who already have been an integral part of the Qualcomm Technologies RFFE team, and 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.”