Qualcomm eyes another Cambridge chip firm
Qualcomm is believed to planning to buy Cambridge-based envelope tracking chipset firm Nujira.
Neither company were available to comment.
If confirmed, the deal, which is being reported in Business Weekly, will be Qualcomm’s second high profile acquisition this year.
The mobile processor company is in the process of acquiring Bluetooth wireless chip firm CSR, also based in Cambridge, for around $2.5bn.
Nujira has 200 patents related to its work on envelope tracking technology. This is a technique for optimising the radio transmitter power of mobile phones.
These patents will be an important asset to Qualcomm which is also developing its own ET technology.
The Holy Grail for Nujira was to get its silicon IP designed into the mobile chipsets at the heart of 4G smartphones.
But it struggled to compete in the mobile market with chipset suppliers such as Qualcomm, Qorvo (formerly RFMD) and Texas Instruments.
It is thought that ET technology from various chip suppliers is being used in smartphones of Samsung, Apple and HTC.
Nujira has not yet confirmed any specific smartphone design-ins.
With envelope tracking, the voltage of the power supply is modulated to follow the envelope of the RF signal passing through the power amplifier (PA) with just enough headroom to keep the PA running smoothly.
This reduces power dissipation in the power amplifier output transistors.
If the envelope tracking power supply is switch-mode, considerable energy can be saved when transmitting peaky RF signals – which are present in 4G LTE, and LTE-A smartphone radio circuits.