What is the price of becoming a leader? Misunderstood, questioned, and even gang-beaten. This is exactly what Qualcomm has endured in the field of 5G chips. Behind the hustle and bustle, thinking calmly, technological self-improvement and expansion, is the best counterattack and answer.

China and Africa News, December 6th, in response to the monopolistic competition quality control initiated by the US government against Qualcomm, Intel executive vice president Steven R. Rodgers published an official blog post saying that he supports the government’s action and said that Qualcomm used its chip advantage to control it. Squeezing out the 5G chip market, and although the baseband division was subsequently sold to Apple, the decision caused it to suffer “billions of dollars in losses.”

It is reported that Intel is still in the research and development stage in the 5G baseband, and there is a large space between trial and even commercial use. Even if the so-called Qualcomm monopoly does not exist, its advantages in the field of mobile 5G chips are not obvious. Earlier, Intel announced the use of MediaTek Helio M70 5G baseband to deploy 5G PC-side chip solutions, which is considered to be an intention to return to the mobile baseband market.

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The trouble facing Qualcomm is definitely not the case. Recently, German auto parts manufacturer Continental and Toyota’s auto parts manufacturer Denso (Denso) stated that if Qualcomm continues to charge the market high 5G licensing fees, it may cause the cost of cars connected with 5G high-speed Internet to rise. Will harm the interests of auto suppliers.

In addition to the two major auto parts suppliers, the relevant major auto manufacturers BMW, Ford (FORD), Toyota Motor, and General Motors (GM) and other trade representatives have successively stated that Qualcomm charges the market improperly 5G licensing patent money, I am afraid It hurts the interests of related car manufacturers.

Despite the pressure of antitrust lawsuits from peers and even IP customers, The European View, a well-known overseas semiconductor industry forum analysis organization, stated that with the official commercialization of 5G and the strong technical barriers Qualcomm has accumulated in baseband, Qualcomm’s dominance in mobile phone chips will not Under the slightest influence. The specific reasons are as follows:

First, there is relatively little competitive pressure in the field of mobile phone (baseband) chips. Currently, only Samsung (Exynos Modem 5100), Huawei (Balong 5000), MediaTek (Helio M70) and Qualcomm (Snapdragon X50) have successfully implemented self-developed and commercialized 5G basebands.

Among them, Huawei basebands are currently not for sale, and Samsung’s baseband market share is far below Qualcomm. MediaTek, as a latecomer in the 5G market, requires practical verification of performance. Therefore, Qualcomm is still the primary choice of mobile phone manufacturers. It is reported that after Apple acquires Intel’s baseband business, it will still take at least 2 years from the 5G baseband commercialization. Before that, it will use Qualcomm 5G baseband.

Secondly, thanks to Qualcomm’s strength in 5G baseband and chipsets. At the 2019 Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm launched the flagship 5G platform 865 and the 765/765 5G chipset for the mid-to-high-end series. Among them, the Qualcomm 865 platform requires a foreign 5G baseband to achieve communication functions.

The Snapdragon 765/765G integrates the X52 5G baseband, and also supports 5G dual-mode, millimeter wave and Sub-6, and the downlink rate can reach 3.7Gbps. According to the currently known information, compared with Kirin 990, Qualcomm 865 can support millimeter wave, and compared with MediaTek Dimensity 1000, Snapdragon 865 should be more advanced in performance parameters.

Finally, in terms of future 5G landing scenarios, Qualcomm’s layout is relatively complete. Analysis predicts that 5G applications in the automotive field will usher in a blowout at the end of 2020, and it will continue until 2030. As of 2035, the market size of 5G applications in this field can reach 123 billion U.S. dollars. Not surprisingly, Intel and Qualcomm will fight fiercely in this field.

However, from the current industrial layout, Qualcomm occupies a certain advantage. In October of this year, Qualcomm announced that it has reached a cooperation agreement with many major Chinese car companies to jointly develop and commercialize the safe and reliable C-V2X (Vehicle to Everything) technology. It is expected that the technology and platform will be launched in China in 2020.

Author: Pei Jun

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