Samsung Electronics unveiled its newest silicon, a 14-nanometer chipset that it said offers better battery life and performance. The chipset could be key to Samsung's growth as its smartphone sales flatten out. Meanwhile, a Samsung executive hinted that the company's forthcoming flagship smartphone, expected to be called the Galaxy S6, will support multiple wireless charging standards.
Qualcomm is facing new pressure from regulators after South Korea's antitrust regulator said it is considering investigating whether the chipset giant misused its dominant market position in the country. The probe comes just days after Qualcomm announced a settlement with China's National Development and Reform Commission, in which the company agreed to pay a $975 million fine and change its licensing and royalty practices.
ARM Holdings, the British chipset design giant, posted a better than expected 25 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit. The company, whose architecture is used by the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek and many others, said it expects its royalty income to get a boost from new smartphones.
Qualcomm announced a "resolution" with China's National Development and Reform Commission, which has been investigating Qualcomm's patent-licensing business in the country. Under the agreement, Qualcomm will pay a $975 million fine and will modify some of its business and licensing practices. The company also updated its revenue and earnings expectations due to the resolution.
Qualcomm will likely pay a fine of up to $1 billion and cut its royalty rates by around a third on patents used in China to settle an investigation into the company's licensing practices there, according to a Reuters report.
Apple is going to rely on rival Samsung Electronics to produce the processor for its next iPhone models, according to a Re/code report, which would be a major coup for Samsung's semiconductor unit.
Intel struck a deal to buy Lantiq, a system-on-chip specialist focused on broadband access and home networking technologies, in a bid to get more deeply enmeshed in the smart home, one of the leading areas in the Internet of Things market. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Intel said the deal is expected to close in around 90 days.
Qualcomm cut its outlook for the second half of its fiscal year in part because it disclosed that its Snapdragon 810 processor "will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device."
Qualcomm is the dominant smartphone chipset supplier around the world and in the U.S. market, but MediaTek hopes to change that, especially as average selling prices for phones continue to drop. MediaTek is the premier silicon provider in the entry-level and mid-range smartphone market in China and the company has been steadily boosting the performance of its chips, especially by combining them with LTE modems. Now, MediaTek is looking beyond China and East Asia.
Qualcomm is expected to provide Samsung Electronics with a new version of its Snapdragon 810 chipset in March for the next version of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S smartphone, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The report came after Bloomberg reported that Samsung would not use Qualcomm silicon in the next version of its phone because the Qualcomm chipset overheated during testing. Instead, Samsung will reportedly use its own chipset.