Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Wireless
10 Sep 2010
Celebrating the company's 25th birthday this year, Qualcomm's CEO Paul Jacobs was in London to set out the firm's stall in the increasingly complex and competitive mobile devices world.
Some of his themes have remained consistent through much of the mobile chip giant's quarter century, notably the obsession with integration, but these days an integrated platform contains a whole new range of components and a hefty dose of software.
So the software strategy shared center stage with the silicon, as Qualcomm stressed that its 2011 roadmap is not just about GHz and cores, but optimizing the architecture for multimedia, multiple operating systems and new services.
Some of the technologies showcased by Jacobs and his team have proved long-lived, often against the odds. This includes CDMA itself - Qualcomm stressed several times that it would not do single-mode LTE chips and believes the 4G technology only achieves its potential in tandem with the 3G technologies, all CDMA-based.
This also includes the software platform Brew, which has received a new lease of life and is positioned as a web/apps system for affordable handsets, fitting in below smartphone OSs. With both AT&T and Verizon Wireless supporting Brew MP in this context, it was with some justification that Qualcomm gave Brew a key role in its presentations.
It is also working hard to ensure its Snapdragon processor, and other technologies, deliver a strong user experience for smartphone OSs.
Jacobs and Qualcomm's head of internet services and Brew, Rob Chandhok, both seemed to be making a bid for the position of Intel in a mobile version of the old Wintel alliance, stressing that Microsoft had chosen Qualcomm as its lead partner for Windows Phone 7, and more importantly, that it has a deep collaboration with Google for Android.