Categories: Chips

Qualcomm acquisition could boost its small cell expertise

Qualcomm acquisition could boost its small cell expertise

An Israeli business newspaper is reporting that Qualcomm (QCOM) is set to acquire Israel’s DesignArt Networks for between $120 and $140 million. The deal would not be a large acquisition for Qualcomm, but it could give the San Diego chipmaker a boost in the emerging market for integrated small cell base station chips.

DesignArt’s single-chip LTE small cell base station is not a complete system-on-a-chip; in larger configurations it must be paired with a communications processor. According to Tom Halfhill of The Linley Group, “to compensate for needing an additional chipset in some designs, [DesignArt's] processor uniquely integrates digital front-end and wireless backhaul capabilities, reducing the cost of systems requiring these features.”

Qualcomm is a leading maker of cellular basebands for handsets, but is less of a player in the base station market. Integrated chipsets for LTE base stations are just beginning to hit the market, with the first deployments expected this year in South Korea.

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