Qualcomm aims to replicate dominance in laptop market


You've gotta chalk one up for Qualcomm in its attempts to replicate its dominance on the handset chip side in the laptop market. The vendor is savvy. According to a recent article in GigaOm, Qualcomm's Gobi wireless platform is looking to make it a painless process for manufacturers to embed a 3G network card inside a laptop. Qualcomm is doing this giving manufacturers a solution that has already been certified by multiple operators and runs on the latest CDMA and HSPA silicon.

Qualcomm is licensing the Gobi platform to laptop vendors. HP already plans to use Gobi cards in select 2008 laptops. The Gobi platform includes firmware, a GPS chip and a software-defined radio that supports both CDMA and HSPA. The beauty of the platform is that it can be configured to operate on any compliant network or limited to work on just certain operator networks. The platform in the future will support other technologies like HSPA and LTE.

Vodafone Group and Verizon Wireless back the platform. It's certainly something HSPA operator Vodafone and partner EV-DO operator Verizon have been waiting for to help them bridge their disparate technologies.

As much as folks like to say that Qualcomm is in peril as the world moves away from CDMA-based networks, it's obvious the vendor has plans for the future. Qualcomm's strategy in the chip market has been to come out of the gate first and continually release newer and better versions of chips so that handset makers cannot ignore them. After snubbing Qualcomm last fall by going to Freescale for 3G chipsets, struggling Motorola announced in January that it would again work with Qualcomm. Qualcomm will work hard to make sure the same trend exists in the laptop market--Lynnette

P.S.--Don't forget to join Sue Marek at 2 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 5 for a Webinar on "Mobile Broadband and the 4G Roadmap." She has some great guests including Ali Tabassi, vice president, technology development at Sprint Nextel, Arun Bhikshesvaran, CTO and vice president strategy and marketing at Ericsson, and Peter Jarich,  research director at Current Analysis. Register here.

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