Category Archives: Qualcomm

Qualcomm and Guizhou to make new server chipsets in China

qualcomm sales officeSan Diego based chip maker Qualcomm and China’s Guizhou Huaxintong Semi-Conductor company have announced a joint venture to develop new server chip sets designed for the Chinese market.

The news comes only a week after chip maker AMD announced its new Opteron A1100 System-on-Chip (SoC) for ARM-based systems in data centre. Both partnerships reflect how server design for data centres is evolving to suit the cloud industry.

The Qualcomm partnership, announced on its web site, was formalised at China National Convention Center in Beijing as officials from both companies and the People’s Government of Guizhou Province signed a strategic cooperation agreement. The $280 million joint venture will be 55% owned by the Guizhou provincial government’s investment arm, while 45% will belong to Qualcomm subsidiary.

The plan is to develop advanced server chipsets in China, which is now the world’s second largest market for server technology sales.

The action is an important step for Qualcomm as it looks to deepen its level of cooperation and investment in China, said Qualcomm president Derek Aberle. In February 2015 BCN sister publication reported how the chip giant had fallen foul of the Chinese authorities for violating China’s trading laws. It was fined 6 billion yuan (around $1 billion) after its marketing strategy was judged to be against the nation’s anti-monopoly law.

“The strategic cooperation with Guizhou represents a significant increase in our collaboration in China,” said Aberle. Qualcomm is to provide investment capital, license its server technology to the joint venture, help with research and development and provide implementation expertise. “This underscores our commitment as a strategic partner in China,” said Aberle.

Last week, AMD claimed the launch of its new Opteron A1100 SoC will catalyse a much more rapid development process for creating servers suited to hosting cloud computing in data centres.

AMD’s partner in chip development for servers, ARM, is better placed to create processors for the cloud market as it specialises in catering for a wider diversity of needs. Whereas Intel makes its own silicon and can only hope to ship 30 custom versions of its latest Xeon processor to large customers like Ebay or Amazon, ARM can licenses its designs to 300 third-party silicon vendors, each developing their own use case for different clients and variants of server workloads, it claimed.

“The ecosystem for ARM in the data centre is approaching an inflection point and the addition of AMD’s high-performance processor is another strong step forward for customers looking for a data centre-class ARM solution,” said Scott Aylor, AMD’s general manager of Enterprise Solutions.

Cloud security start up Cloudflare gets $110 million in venture funding

Secure cloudGoogle, Microsoft and chip maker Qualcomm are among the investors to collectively stake $110 million in networking and cyber security start up CloudFlare, according to a report in Fortune.

Cloudflare offers services that speed up cloud systems and web sites while beefing up security. Its main market proposition is to speed up the functioning of any services used by enterprises at the edge of their networks. By doing so it provides a cheaper alternative to the traditional model of on-premise appliances.

Cloudflare claims enterprises can quickly set up cloud-based firewall, load balancing, WAN optimization, distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation, content delivery and domain name services services worldwide without needing any hardware. It claims that in one day it saved Chinese users more than 243 years of time that would have been collectively spent waiting for web content to load.

Last week Cloudflare finalized a joint venture with Chinese Internet giant Baidu that allows both US-based companies and Chinese-based companies to use CloudFlare’s website performance service while adhering to Chinese data laws.

Although CloudFlare maintains no physical operations in China, it has worked with Baidu to set up technology within Baidu’s facilities that mimic CloudFlare’s services elsewhere, Prince said.

The funding round was led by Fidelity Investments with Google Capital, Microsoft, Baidu and Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm all contributing funds. CloudFlare now has $182 million in total funding.

Matthew Prince, CEO of the start up, said Cloudflare didn’t need the funding as much as it needed the credibility that comes with top brand association. The confidence that comes with the backing of Google and Microsoft could convince nervous buyers that this is a solid investment when the company prepares itself for an initial public offering, it was reported. However, the IPO is unlikely to happen this year, said Prince, and he hinted that it would come no earlier than 2017.

Verizon, Qualcomm among Mcity partners testing IoT, automated cars

Verizon is teaming up with the University of Michigan to test connected and automated cars

Verizon is teaming up with the University of Michigan to test connected and automated cars

Verizon and Qualcomm are among 15 partners launching Mcity at the University of Michigan this week, a controlled testing environment for connected and automated vehicles that the project participants claim could clear the path for mass-market adoption of driverless cars.

The facility will allow researchers to simulate environments where connected and automated vehicles will be most challenged – for instance where road signs may be defaced by graffiti, or when traffic lights become faulty or break.

“There are many challenges ahead as automated vehicles are increasingly deployed on real roadways,” said Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center. “Mcity is a safe, controlled, and realistic environment where we are going to figure out how the incredible potential of connected and automated vehicles can be realized quickly, efficiently and safely.”

Michigan – particularly the City of Detroit – has a longstanding (and to some extent troubled) history in automotive, but the University said the facility will help the State regain its leadership in the sector. The project builds on a 3,000 vehicle connected car project launched three years ago and co-funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

As part of its participation with the project Verizon will be contributing its telematics technology, In-Drive, and is offering its own research into vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies. It will also help explore various ways to combine mobility, telematics and IoT services.

Other project partners include Iteris, Navistar, Denso, Ford, General Motors, Qualcomm and Xerox; each partner is investing about $1m into the project over the next three years.

Amit Jain, director of corporate strategy, IoT verticals at Verizon said the project will help create new vendor-agnostic and OEM-agnostic services that could improve road and pedestrian safety.

“Placing the onus on OEMs only to deploy technologies such as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), for example, could take up to 37 years according to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). That’s why creating opportunities like Mcity to pool research and share best practices to expedite innovation is so important,” Jain said.

“Consider the fact that there are more than 30,000 fatalities in the US annually caused by vehicle accidents – of which 14 percent of those fatalities involve pedestrians. As part of our participation in Mcity, we will be involved in tailored research to explore how smart phones can be used to further enhance vehicle-to-pedestrian communications.”

Verizon has moved over the past few years to bolster its legacy M2M portfolio (industrial M2M, telematics) with the addition of new IoT services, which according to the telco now constitute a growing portion of its overall revenues – particularly connected cars. In a Q2 2015 earnings call with journalists and analysts this week Verizon’s chief financial officer Francis Shammo said that although IoT is still quite a nascent sector it raked in about $165m for the quarter and $320m year-to-date.

“As far as Internet of Things, we think that the transportation, healthcare, and energy industries in particular present great opportunities for us and we are very active fostering innovation in these areas,” Shammo said. “We are very well-positioned to capitalize on these new growth opportunities and we will continue to develop business models to monetize usage on our network and at the platform level.”

IoT platform Thread unveiled, Qualcomm joins

Another week, another IoT standard ecosystem

Another week, another IoT standard ecosystem

Thread, an IP-based wireless protocol designed for consumer IoT in the home, has been unveiled, with the organisation also confirming Qualcomm Technologies as a member of its board of directors, reports

The IoT protocol, according to Thread, is designed for consumers and devices in and around the home, and extends domestic M2M connections into the cloud using IP in a low-power mesh network. Having announced its formation in late 2014, Thread now comprises of more than 160 member companies. Qualcomm has also been appointed to the group’s board of directors, where it will be more heavily involved in the development of Thread-compatible products, as well as the protocol itself.

Considering it’s only been operational for just over nine months, the progress being made within the wider Thread group shows the rate of development within the wider IoT industry in general; a sentiment agreed with by Chris Boross, Thread Group’s president.

“In the nine months since opening membership, more than 160 companies have joined the Thread Group, and now the group is launching the Thread technical specification, which has now completed extensive interoperability testing,” he said. “Today’s announcement means that Thread products are on the way and will be in customers’ hands very shortly. I’m excited to see what kinda of products and experiences Thread developers will build.”

With Qualcomm joining the board of directors, it also shows how large and influential tech firms are hedging their bets on the development of IoT, by also contributing to the AllSeen Alliance, another IoT platform development forum. Raj Talluri, Qualcomm’s SVP of product management reckons the work being done at Thread will help further IoT development.

“When it comes to easily and securely connecting the smart home, the work of industry alliances like the Thread Group are essential,” he said. “Collaborating with the Thread Group allows for the integration of this technology into the world’s leading brands of household appliances, and to thereby speed innovation and market transformation.”

Thread coming to the fore serves to illustrate how progress in various aspects of IoT connectivity is accelerating. There’s a plethora of platforms all addressing separate networking considerations, from Sigfox and its cellular IoT platform, to the Wireless IoT Forum deploying low-powered wide area networks for city-wide M2M connectivity. If the variety of industry stakeholders involved are indeed intent on open collaboration and cooperation to ensure the more altruistic progression of IoT; then sooner or later one would assume a level of convergence of said platforms is inevitable.

Telcares Blood Glucose Meter Calls Home via Verizon

Telcare’s next-generation wireless blood glucose meter – the Telcare BGM has now been certified to operate on Verizon’s nationwide cellular network. The product was developed in collaboration with both Verizon and Qualcomm, Inc., and is the first medical device to utilize Qualcomm’s new Internet of Everything module. Telcare’s product is the first technology to make CDMA connectivity affordable for consumer-focused medical devices. The product will be exhibited in Telcare’s booth, located inside the Qualcomm Life Pavilion #26715 at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.

The Telcare product will operate with both Telcare’s FDA-cleared diabetes management portal and with other soon-to-be released mHealth care management platforms. By integrating Telcare’s FDA-cleared blood glucose meter and cloud server to the Verizon network, people with diabetes, their families, and their health professionals will now be able to integrate real-time measurement of blood glucose levels with other physiologic parameters, such as weight and blood pressure.

“Telcare is excited to establish this collaboration as it will enable us to better support Americans with diabetes, their loved ones, and their medical caregivers. Moreover, the outstanding cellular coverage afforded nationwide by Verizon wireless will be particularly valuable in continuously connecting people with diabetes to their care system,” said Jonathan C. Javitt, M.D., M.P.H., Telcare’s CEO and co-founder.

Diabetes mellitus affects 32 million Americans and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in three Americans born after 2000 will have the condition. Although the complications of diabetes can be prevented through daily monitoring and control of blood sugar, diabetes today accounts for one in ten healthcare dollars spent in the U.S. and results in needless strokes, heart attacks, amputations and cases of blindness.

Telcare BGM is a registered trademark of Telcare, Inc.