Rumor Mill: Qualcomm snaps up LTE modem designer Sandbridge

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) purchased LTE chip house Sandbridge Technologies, according to a report from Forward Concepts analyst Will Strauss.

Strauss said Qualcomm did not announce the deal, which he said is rumored to be around $55 million, because it does not represent a material change to Qualcomm's finances. A Qualcomm spokeswoman declined to comment.

Sandbridge, which was founded in 2001, designed a multi-core processor that can be used for LTE baseband technology. However, Strauss said Sandbridge failed to get a major design win, so the deal is primarily for patents and intellectual property. According to Castile Ventures, an investor in Sandbridge, the company was acquired by a "large public company," but the identity of the acquirer was not disclosed. Sandbridge's website is no longer functioning.

The deal is notable in light of Intel's recent acquisition of Infineon's wireless unit. Infineon recently purchased Blue Wonder Communications, a German LTE specialist. Infineon and Blue Wonder have been working together for the past 18 months on developing LTE baseband solutions.

Qualcomm Europe President Andrew Gilbert told Reuters that the company is not worried about Intel's purchase of Infineon's wireless unit. "The acquisition ... proves we are on the right track with our strategy," he said, noting the expected growth in mobile broadband over the next few years will continue to fuel the wireless industry.

Gilbert also said Qualcomm wants to expand in Europe, either organically or through acquisitions. He did not name any specific targets but told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that "Germany is the biggest telecommunications market in Europe and therefore it is very important to us."

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see these two articles from EE Times

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