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February 6, 2017

Qualcomm, TDK form $3bn joint venture for RFFE modules

The joint venture will deliver fully integrated radio frequency modules that will be used in mobile devices and next generation IoT devices.

By CBR Staff Writer

Qualcomm and TDK have formed the previously announced joint venture, RF360 Holdings Singapore to supply RF front-end (RFFE) modules for mobile devices.

The joint venture is estimated to be worth about $3bn and will see Qualcomm own a stake of 51% in the JV, while EPCOS, a TDK Group company, will hold 49% of the stake.

As per the deal, Qualcomm Global Trading will have an option to acquire (and EPCOS has an option to sell) the remaining interest in the joint venture 30 months after the closing date.

The deal will help Qualcomm to deliver RF front end (RFFE) modules and radio frequency (RF) segments into fully integrated systems, which will be used in mobile devices and next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) devices, automotive applications, connected computing and more.

Along with the new joint venture, Qualcomm plans to design and supply modem/transceiver products that are fully integrated all the way to the antenna, with end-to-end performance and global scale. Qualcomm TDK

RF360 Holdings will have a comprehensive set of filters and filter technologies that include surface acoustic wave (SAW), temperature-compensated surface acoustic wave (TC-SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW).

These technologies will support the wide range of frequency bands that are deployed across the globe. Apart from this, the JV will also deliver RFFE modules that will include front-end components developed by Qualcomm.

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These components include complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS), silicon on insulator (SOI) and GaAs Power Amplifiers, a broad portfolio of Switches, Antenna Tuning, Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) and the industry’s leading Envelope Tracking solution.

Qualcomm Technologies executive vice president and Qualcomm CDMA Technologies president Cristiano Amon said: “The ongoing expansion of mobile communication across multiple industries, and the unprecedented deployment of multi-carrier 4G technologies now reaching over sixty-five 3GPP frequency bands are driving manufacturers of wireless solutions to higher levels of miniaturization, integration and performance, especially for the RFFE in these devices.

“Further, 5G will increase the level of complexity even more. To that end, the ability to provide the ecosystem a truly complete solution is essential to enabling our customers to deliver mobile solutions at scale and on time.”

TDK president and CEO Shigenao Ishiguro said: “The deeper collaboration with Qualcomm fits perfectly into our growth strategy.

“It is a further step that aims to open up new promising business opportunities for TDK, while strengthening the company’s innovativeness and thus competitiveness in such attractive future markets as sensors, MEMS, wireless charging and batteries.

“Our customers will clearly benefit from the resulting unique and comprehensive technologies and products portfolio.”

RF360 will be based in Singapore, but will have global presence through R&D, manufacturing and sales locations across Europe and Asia.

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