Qualcomm Inc, the world’s largest mobile phone chipmaker, yesterday said it is looking to increase its investment in Taiwan and deepen its collaboration with local partners in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and 5G fields.
The San Diego, California-based company said that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has placed IoT and 5G on its policy agenda to help drive economic growth, which is the right approach and aligns well with Qualcomm’s investment and business model.
“Qualcomm has a long history of investing and partnering here in Taiwan,” Qualcomm president Derek Aberle told a news briefing in Taipei. “We have a long future ahead of us in increasing the level of collaboration and investment here.”
In the 5G area, Qualcomm has been collaborating closely with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Industrial Technology Research Institute to develop technologies to help Taiwanese companies focusing on 5G applications grow, Aberle said.
Small cells and virtual-reality (VR) devices could be two of those applications, Aberle said.
In the IoT area, Qualcomm plans to expand the role of a new innovation lab set up in Taiwan in November last year, he said.
The lab will also be a start-up incubator as the functions of the lab increase, he said.
The lab was set up to accelerate time to market for local companies in the smartphone and IoT sectors by helping Taiwanese companies, especially smaller-scale firms, to obtain certifications for wireless connectivity.
Qualcomm is also to make direct investments in VR hardware companies, VR content developers and gaming companies to help build an ecosystem for VR and 5G, Aberle said.
Talking about Qualcomm’s newly announced joint venture with China’s Data Telecom Industry Group (大唐電信) in Guizhou Province, Aberle said Qualcomm aims to address the large number of smartphone and tablet original equipment manufacturers in China by partnering with local firms.
The joint venture will supply chips for entry-level mobile devices for the emerging markets, he said.
However, in Taiwan, Qualcomm will focus on supplying chips for high-end and higher-value devices from companies including HTC Corp (宏達電) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), he said.
Aberle declined to comment on MediaTek Inc’s (聯發科) goal to recoup lost market share in China over the next year and a half.
“The market is extremely competitive. We have competition from the supplier you mentioned,” Aberle said. “We feel very good about our position.”
Asked whether he thinks Moore’s law — which predicts that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits double — is coming to an end, Aberle said: “It is true that it is getting harder and harder to get into smaller geometries, but it [Moore’s law] is definitely durable.”
Qualcomm will continue to push process technology advances to drive the need for next-generation technologies with partners such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), he said.
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