LTE chip makers take aim at Qualcomm

The race is on for mobile chip makers to gain a lead in the LTE market. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has transferred its leadership in 3G chips to LTE, but research firm iSuppli notes that major competitors aren't far behind.

Established chip makers such as Broadcom, Infineon, ST-Ericsson, MediaTek and Qualcomm, have laid out LTE product development plans, but new entrants who have gained footing in the WiMAX market are turning their focus to LTE. This include: Altair Semiconductor, Beceem, BitWave, Comsys, Sequans and Wavesat. Mobile handset vendors such as Samsung Electronics are making their own chips.

Steep investments are required for LTE so Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff predicts LTE chip powerhouses will be established players Qualcomm, MediaTek and ST-Ericsson. Intel is expected to enter the market after purchasing Infineon's wireless business with enough resources to challenge Qualcomm. Still, Sequans' TD-LTE chips and USB dongles were chosen by China Telecom for the world's first TD-LTE demonstration network that China Mobile is showcasing at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Some examples of chip maker products include:

  • Qualcomm's dual-operator HSPA+ and multi-mode 3G/LTE chipsets
  • ST-Ericsson's multimode LTE/HSPA/EDGE M710 for high performance modem devices
  • Altair's FourGee-3100 software-defined radio-based (SDR) LTE baseband processor
  • Sequans' SQN3010 baseband system on a chip

For more:
- see this LTE World post

Related articles:
LTE chips: A leading indicator of mainstream adoption?
Chip vendor predicts 'millions' of LTE handsets by 2012
Qualcomm's time frame for LTE silicon slips