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Qualcomm takes big slice of baseband IC pie

Posted: 06 Nov 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CDMA? W-CDMA? LTE? cellular baseband processor?

Building on its success in the CDMA, W-CDMA and LTE markets, Qualcomm has dominated the cellular baseband processor market with a 51 per cent share during the first half of 2012. Overall growth in the industry clocked in at 15 per cent year-over-year growth in the first half of the year to reach $8.1 billion, Strategy Analytics reports.

While Qualcomm improved its market share, Intel Corp. and Taiwan's MediaTek Inc. continued to fight tooth and nail for the No. 2 position in the market, Strategy Analytics said. Intel, which entered the market with its acquisition of Infineon Technologies AG's wireless chip unit last year, slipped from the No. 2 position in 2011 to No. 3 in the first half of this year, with its market share declining to 12.1 per cent from 15 per cent, Strategy Analytics said. Intel registered strong 2G baseband shipments, the firm said.

"Intel ranked number two in the W-CDMA market in the first half of 2012, behind Qualcomm," said to Sravan Kundojjala, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. He added that Intel scored multiple high-profile W-CDMA design-wins at tier-one handset manufacturers in the first half of the year.

"Strategy Analytics believes Intel's upcoming first LTE baseband platform, XMM7060, has the potential to cut into Qualcomm's LTE baseband lead in future," Kundojjala said.

MediaTek, meanwhile, regained the No. 2 position in basebands in the first half of the year, barely slipping past Intel with market share of 12.8 per cent, Strategy Analytics said. MediaTek was helped by its strong 3G smartphone baseband processor shipments in the first half of the year, Strategy Analytics said.

According to Stuart Robinson, director of the Strategy Analytics handset component technologies service, MediaTek and Spreadtrum Communications Inc. together accounted for 54 per cent of total GSM/GPRS/EDGE baseband shipments in the first half of 2012.

"MediaTek and Spreadrum's basebands have been adopted by multiple tier-one handset vendors, a testament to their growing influence in the baseband market," Robinson said. "Strategy Analytics believes that MediaTek and Spreadtrum are well-positioned to further their success in 3G and 4G basebands."

Broadcom Corp. and ST-Ericsson rounded out the top five vendors of cellular basebands in the first half of the year, Strategy Analytics said.

Broadcom (Irvine, Calif.) continued to improve its product-mix and ranked No. 4 in the cellular baseband market in the first half of the year, Strategy Analytics said. Broadcom's 3G base band shipments grew more than 600 per cent year-over-year, the firm said.

LTE baseband shipments registered the highest year-over-year growth among all air interface technologies in the first half of the year, while GSM/GPRS/EDGE, CDMA and iDEN baseband shipments declined during the same period, Strategy Analytics said.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times





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