Qualcomm is buying parts of a business which may result in a stronger push towards 5G, as well as more power-efficient internet-connected devices. The company ran a joint business with TDK, called RF360 Holdings. This joint venture's business was to develop RF front-end (RFFE) solutions, which are used to connect cellular modems to antennas.
Now, in order to bring the entire production in-house, and tighten it all up, it announced it would be acquiring TDK's remaining interest in the joint business. According to the announcement, it will be paying $3.1 billion to close the deal.
Historically, cellular modems and antennas were separate components inside smartphones and other cellular, internet-connected devices. Now, with everything under one roof and under one development team, Qualcomm hopes to make smaller devices which would be better optimised and more power-efficient.
“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.”
In short, Qualcomm will now be offering manufacturers a complete 5G solution, for both sub-6GHz and millimetre wave devices. That includes all kinds of things from power amplifiers, to antenna tuners, to low-noise amplifiers and everything in between.