Dec 27 AT 6:33 PM Dustin Earley 37 Comments

NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC team up to take on Qualcomm


When it comes to manufacturing chips for smartphones and tablets, Qualcomm has been leading the mobile industry for awhile. In order to have the resources to compete with the giant, several smaller companies would need to combine their efforts . Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has teamed up with Samsung, Panasonic, NEC, Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Semiconductor to create a high-powered fabless joint venture for the purpose of developing “feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality.”

According to the press release announcing the partnership, all six companies will come together to develop LTE and LTE-Advanced communication solutions that will be sold globally. Although not in the press release, one of the main reasons for the joint venture is to decrease dependency on Qualcomm for mobile devices. If all goes according to plan, the partnership will be finalized by March, 2012.

Once the details are finished being worked out, DoCoMo will invest $5.8 million in wholly owned subsidiary known as Communication Platform Planning. CPP will be headed by DoCoMo CEO Mitsunobu Komori.

The advantages of a partnership like this may not be immediately apparent to consumers. But eventually, it should help foster and speed up innovation, along with drive down chip prices. This will in turn drive down device prices. The semiconductor business is going to get interesting this coming year, and we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on what NTT DoCoMo’s super team can do.

Via: Engadget

Source: NTT Docomo

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • hmggloria

    And with this “let the games begin”! Now that Qualcomm was actually revamping all snapdraggon line changing the new line to the snapdraggon name in the attempt to make it look better.
    The competition might start to get serious and that is good for consumers. The fight for a real good position in the market is essential and the timing of doing it beyond all urgency. Let’s hope we all get to win something of this :)

    • zerosix

      Not always such kind of competitions are good for customers.
      The number of different CPUs drives me crazy, as long as developers. I’m really unhappy, when I can’t play some games, which need a certain CPU.

      • Jorge Eslava

        “Not always such kind of competitions are good for customers.”? I’m not going to dignify that with a response.

    • LukeT32

      Nvidia will win.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    damn so we can expect Samsung and Panasonic not to use quallacomn chips

    • hmggloria

      With Samsung it was expected they didn’t use quallcomm. Qualcomm was the main supplier of HTC competitors. Samsung is doing ok with their own exynos and with nvidea tegra’s for the tab…although tab 10.1 with tegra 2 isn’t quite the same as the transformer prime….

      • jacob

        Samsung used snapdragons in the T-Mobile sgs2 and one of the galaxy tabs.

        • redraider133

          Also in the sgs2 skyrocket on at&t

          • hmggloria

            Sorry. My bad. I own a SGS 2 and it’s exynos. I knew there was other model but didn’t know that it was qualcomm. Misinformed I was….

        • Jeff

          Only because Exynos didn’t support 42Mbps HSPA+ or LTE.

          • Tarwinia

            But it’s also why some versions of the galaxy note use a Qualcomm snapdragon.

      • Third Eye

        Atleast till Windows 8 (Phone version), WP7 variants officially support only Qualcomm (and maybe ST Micro Novothor) and hence all Windows Phones for now will be Qualcomm based. So Samsung as a one of the large seller of the dimunitive Windows Phone market has to use Qualcomm for those phones.

        The biggest problem that a SOC manufacturer like Samsung faces is that Qualcomm is a 1 stop-shop was all things that go into the cell phone that it will be far easier to buy from them at a cheaper rate than integrating parts from different places together.

        Look @ all LTE and the latest HSPA+ >21Mbps.

        The following are the exceptions

        Droid Razr, Bionic – TI OMAP SOCs with Moto’s home built Wrigley LTE baseband chipset
        Galaxy Nexys – TI OMAP SOC with a Samsung + Via Telecom chipset

        Every other LTE device uses Qualcomm S3 based SOC as Qualcomm has a compatible LTE baseband chipset that only works with its processors.

        That results in Samsung not able to push Exynos SOC into Tmobile Galaxy SII variant but instead use the slower performing, S3 APQ series. Similar thing with ATT Skyrocket.

        So basically, this partnership is to pool the resources together and utilize the resources and patents of these companies to remove the last but really significant advantage that Qualcomm poses to each of them….

  • staryoshi

    If Tegra 3 is a success I’d expect to see nVidia’s revenues raise quite a bit. I’m also interested to see how Intel does next year.

    • hmggloria

      Nvidea tegra 3 new model architecture might be quite a success and at least is quite innovative facing the actual competition. If more brands start using it they might have that increase in revenues. Nevertheless I feel the same curiosity as you about Intel. What will happen with this market player?

      • Nikola Ovcharslo

        We are waiting for the Intel Medfield SoC

    • tarwinia

      I was curious about Intel too but not anymore. According to vr-zone the medfield SoC is 33% faster than a tegra2, 20% faster than the Qualcomm 8260 (doesn’t specify if 1.2 ir 1.5ghz), and about 17% faster than the exynos (again doesn’t mention at what clock speed). But it currently uses 2w at idle and 3.6 for 720p flash video (from what I understood they hope to get it down to 2.6 in the shipping version).

      Now if caffeinemark is strictly CPU based we can expect the tegra3 to more than twice as well (twice the number of cores and faster clock speeds, not to mention the added NEON modules) and th Qualcomm S4s are supposed to be 60% faster than S3s at the same clock speed. So it seems to me that the next-gen chips that will be out at around the sametime as the medfields will be more powerful and, from what I understand, morepower efficient.


  • redraider133

    Good to see this. We the consumers will benefit from this through lower prices, more efficient and less battery drain on our devices. Can’t wait to see what they come up with.

    • WlfHart

      Cheers to market competition and the innovation it brings!

  • pmex83

    I wonder how long it will be until tablets with keyboard docks take over the laptop market.

  • stenzor

    “In order to have the resources to compete with the giant, several smaller companies would need to combine their efforts . Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has teamed up with Samsung, Panasonic, NEC, Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Semiconductor”

    Ha, docomo, Samsung, Panasonic, and co. are most definitely not “smaller companies”. Even docomo itself is much larger than Qualcomm. Good article nevertheless.

  • cb2000a

    Didn’t the Exynos pretty much stomp every other chip in raw performance. A shame it won’t play nice with LTE.

  • aykutb

    even though i own a device with a qualcomm chip and qualcomm is leading, doesn’t mean they’re the best.i’d very much rather have a tegra device.

  • Nathan D.

    Dam, ppl really want to take down qualcomm, lol.

  • mr. android

    WOW , instead of taking on IOS and stopping all the lawsuits going on , also making an effort to stop paying so much to microsoft . Samsung instead teams up to take out a company doing no harm and doing great things. PLAYER HATER

  • Bpear96

    Shouldn’t Samsung and apple be combined on that chart? Since doesnt Samsung currently make all of apples smartphone chips?

    • tarwinia

      Not really. If the Apple processors counted as Samsung products then TSMC and other fabs would be up there. The chips are Apple designed and Samsung just fabricates them. It’s as if you said an iPad was a Compal product and not an Apple product.

  • AsakuraZero

    this 2012 will be the year of android, and the smartphone race, PC desktops are going to see a fearsome enemy now… in their owners pockets!

  • donger

    didn’t know that about qualcomm.

  • jimtravis

    Should be good for consumer. Just want to be sure we don’t have another posssible fragmentation criteria. Assume all programs will run OK on all chips, but will we have apps that run significantly faster on one vendor’s chip than on chips of the same speed from other vendors. Not talking about overall speed improvements, but individual apps optimized for one chip only.

  • mdwilson37

    2012 is going to be great hardware wise, definitely excited…

  • CTown

    I don’t know, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 powering the rumored HTC phones (which are supposed to be of better quantity) it’s not going to be easy. The battle between HTC (who else can one claim to be “the Qualcomm phone maker”) and Samsung might get even more fierce in 2012! WOW, I feel like such a dork right now…

  • Samar

    Better NTT Docomo studies Qualcom’s patents and does something innovative, or else we’re in line to see a similar court-room war in Semi Conductor space too.

  • vid500

    Nice to see the industry is moving forward and becoming more inovative. This is the best way to see new, inovative devices with a lower price. But they all should keep on ther good job. More choices the better.

    But I thought that Nvidia has a bigger share. But they’ll come there this year with all the new Tegra devices.

  • Ari32

    This is good news. Anything to spur innovation is welcomed in my books, especially if it will help drive down prices.

  • Arnold

    > DoCoMo will invest $5.8 million

    5.8 M is not much in this kind of industry, and 5.8 billion is not possible.