QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM)’s R&D Efforts in Israel Signals a Future Beyond Chips

QUALCOMM, Inc.(NASDAQ:QCOM) forms the backbone of the iPhone and numerous other smartphones because it manufactures the chips incorporated in them. It is a name in its own right with a market cap of a $100 billion with 157 facilities in dozens of countries around the world. It has now set its sights on Israel big time and they are discovering a diverse group of technologies that are aimed at helping the company move onto its Next Big Thing, which is still unknown.

The company is quite taken with the “internet of things” concept, which is the idea of everyday objects being intelligently connected through a combination of wireless networks, modules, sensors and software to enable the real-time exchange of information — with key elements of Qualcomm’s platform developed in its Haifa facility.

There is also the new multi-gigabit wireless WiGig chipsets demonstrated at CES by Qualcomm and Israel’s Wilocity. The system, based on chips by Qualcomm and fabless maker Wilocity, can transfer even high-definition video at distances of up to 40m with speeds more than 10 times faster than current average Wi-Fi transmission rates, as well as provide super-fast transfer rates for wireless file transfer between devices not in the cloud.

Qualcomm has bought numerous start-ups in Israel, like iSkoot in 2010, which started out life developing enhancements for Skype, and now, in the service of Qualcomm, makes social media apps for AT&T (Social Net), Verizon (Social Beat), and T-Mobile (Social Buzz). Then there was the acquisition of Israel’s EPOS, which specialized in digital ultrasound technology. The company also contributes for Project Ray, which equips smartphones with technology that makes life easier for the blind.

Israel’s R&D efforts clearly indicate a future beyond silicon chips, although no concrete information is available as of now.



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