Tue, Nov 08, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Qualcomm to invest in Taipei technology laboratory

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Qualcomm Inc, the world’s No. 1 mobile phone chipmaker, yesterday said that it plans to jointly invest with the government in a multimillion-US dollar technology laboratory in Taipei in a bid to accelerate the development of Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems.

The collaboration would include the development of expertise and cooperation in areas such as the IoT, 4G and 5G operations as well as connected cars, the San Diego, California-based company said.

The laboratory will begin operations later this month, it said.

The facility is to help Qualcomm tap into the automotive industry and reduce its reliance on the smartphone market, the firm said.

The smartphone sector is likely to remain a tremendous market as more than 8 billion handsets are expected to be sold in the next five years, Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs said.

The laboratory, dubbed “Qualcomm Technology Lab,” is also to serve as an incubator, where the company would help local start-ups and assist small-scale Taiwanese companies in research and development, as well as commercializing their products.

“It will help start-ups, because what we find is that an IoT company is often a small company that does not have the ability to go out to operate around the world. We can help them bridge that gap,” Jacobs told a media briefing after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to establish the laboratory.

Qualcomm supports three local companies in Taiwan: ChaseWind Co Ltd (追風科技), which develops augmented-reality glasses for cyclists; Taiwan Colour and Imaging Technology Corp (TCIT, 台灣色彩與影像科技), which develops facial recognition technology; and AiQ Smart Clothing Inc (愛剋智慧科技), which manufactures textiles with embedded sensors that track heart rate and body temperature.

Jacobs said IoT represents a bigger business opportunity for chip companies, given that there will be billions, or even trillions of connected devices worldwide.

“Besides, new partnerships among chipmakers will spring up too, driven by IoT particularly in the automotive space,” he said.

Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP Semiconductor NV is a good example, Jacobs said.

Commenting on potential adjustments in Qualcomm’s chip outsourcing strategy after the acquisition of NXP, Jacobs said that NXP will continue to work with different foundry partners and produce chips.

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