Qualcomm is an American global telecommunication corporation that designs, manufactures and markets digital wireless telecommunications products and services based on its code division multiple access (CDMA) technology and other technologies.
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, USA. The company operates through four segments: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT); Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL); Qualcomm Wireless & Internet (QWI), and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives (QSI).
Qualcomm was founded in 1985 by MIT Alumnus and UC San Diego Professor Irwin Jacobs, MIT and USC Alumnus Andrew Viterbi, Harvey White, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, and Franklin Antonio. Jacobs and Viterbi had previously founded Linkabit. Qualcomm's first products and services included the OmniTRACS satellite locating and messaging service, used by long-haul trucking companies, developed from a product called Omninet owned by Parviz Nazarian and Neil Kadisha, and specialized integrated circuits for digital radio communications such as a Viterbi decoder.
In 1990, Qualcomm began the design of the first CDMA-based cellular base station, based upon calculations derived from the CDMA-based OmniTRACS satellite system. This work began as a study contract from AirTouch which was facing a shortage of cellular capacity in Los Angeles. Two years later Qualcomm began to manufacture CDMA cell phones, base stations, and chips. The initial base stations were not reliable and the technology was licensed wholly to Nortel in return for their work in improving the base station switching. The first CDMA technology was standardized as IS-95. Qualcomm has since helped to establish the CDMA-2000 cellular standard.
In 1997, Qualcomm paid $18 million for the naming rights to the Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, renaming it to Qualcomm Stadium. The naming rights will belong to Qualcomm until 2017.
In 1999, Qualcomm sold its base station business to Ericsson, and later, sold its cell (mobile) phone manufacturing business to Kyocera. The company was now focused on developing and licensing wireless technologies and selling ASICs that implement them.
In 2011, Qualcomm announced that Steve Mollenkopf has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of the company, effective November 12.
Mobile Phone Standards
Qualcomm is the inventor of CDMAone (IS-95), CDMA 2000, and CDMA 1xEV-DO, which are wireless cellular standards used for communications. The company also owns a significant number of key patents on the widely adopted 3G technology, W-CDMA. The license streams from the patents on these inventions, and related products are a major component of Qualcomm's business.
In June 2011, Qualcomm announced that it will be releasing a set of applications programming interfaces.
Qualcomm's Role in 3G
The current UMTS air interfaces are for the most part based on Qualcomm patents, and royalties from these patents represent a significant part of Qualcomm's revenue.
This followed a series of patent-related lawsuits and antitrust complaints, spearheaded by Broadcom, in the US. In 2006, Broadcom started a series of patent-related lawsuits and antitrust complaints against Qualcomm to get what Broadcom regarded fair terms for access to the W-CDMA technologies. Broadcom was soon joined by Nokia and others, and complaints were also filed in the European Commission.
The Chinese TDSCDMA 3G technology was developed primarily to avoid Qualcomm licensing fees, although Qualcomm claims that the Chinese technology still infringes on many Qualcomm patents.
October 2008, Nokia announced it would make a one time payment of $2.29 billion (US) to Qualcomm as part of its patent agreement with the company.
April 2012: Smartphones Chip Shortage Announced
In April 2012, Qualcomm warned that it could not meet demand for its Snapdragon S4 processors.
The company said that the third-party factories that manufacture the "28 nanometre" chips would not be able to create enough supply until the end of 2012.
The shortage would impact Android and Windows-based phone makers who had planned to use the chips.
You can find out more about Qualcomm and its history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualcomm.