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3 February 2017

Qualcomm and TDK launch joint venture RF360 Holdings

Qualcomm Inc of San Diego, CA, USA and electronics component maker TDK Corp of Tokyo, Japan have completed the formation of their joint venture RF360 Holdings Singapore Pte Ltd (announced in January 2016), which will develop and manufacture radio-frequency front-end (RFFE) filtering solutions.

With more than 4000 staff, the JV aims to enable Qualcomm's RFFE business unit to deliver RFFE modules and RF filters into fully integrated systems for mobile devices and fast-growing business segments, such as Internet of Things (IoT), drones, robotics, automotive applications, connected computing etc. The business being transferred constitutes a part of the TDK SAW Business Group activities.

"The ongoing expansion of mobile communication across multiple industries, and the unprecedented deployment of multi-carrier 4G technologies now reaching over 65 3GPP frequency bands, are driving manufacturers of wireless solutions to higher levels of miniaturization, integration and performance, especially for the RFFE in these devices," says Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies Inc (QTI), and president of Qualcomm's semiconductor business Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT, which is operated by QTI). "Further, 5G will increase the level of complexity even more. To that end, the ability to provide the ecosystem a truly complete solution is essential to enabling our customers to deliver mobile solutions at scale and on time."

RF360 Holdings will have a comprehensive set of filters and filter technologies, including surface acoustic wave (SAW), temperature-compensated surface acoustic wave (TC-SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW), to support the wide range of frequency bands being deployed in networks across the globe. Moreover, RF360 Holdings will enable the delivery of RFFE modules from QTI that will include front-end components designed and developed by QTI. These components include CMOS, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and gallium arsenide (GaAs) power amplifiers, a broad portfolio of switches, antenna tuning, low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) and Qualcomm's envelope tracking solution.

Together with RF360 Holdings, QTI says that it will be positioned to design and supply products with end-to-end performance and global scale from the modem/transceiver all the way to the antenna in a fully integrated system.

Deepening collaboration between Qualcomm and TDK

In addition to operating the joint venture, Qualcomm and TDK will deepen their technical cooperation to cover a wide range of technologies for next-generation mobile communications, IoT and automotive applications.

"The deeper collaboration with Qualcomm fits perfectly into our growth strategy," says TDK's president & CEO Shigenao Ishiguro. "It is a further step that aims to open up new promising business opportunities for TDK, while strengthening the company's innovativeness and thus competitiveness in such attractive future markets as sensors, MEMS, wireless charging and batteries," he adds.

Additional transaction details

RF360 Holdings will be a Singapore corporation and will have a global presence, with R&D and manufacturing and/or sales locations in Europe and Asia and its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Christian Block will serve as senior VP & general manager of RFFE, QTI, which includes RF360 Holdings. Block was previously the chief technology officer of TDK subsidiary EPCOS AG, and general manager of the TDK SAW Business Group.

As asserted in January 2016, when the agreement to form the joint venture was announced, RF360 Holdings will initially be owned 51% by Qualcomm Global Trading Pte Ltd (QGT) and 49% by EPCOS AG. QGT has an option to acquire (and EPCOS has an option to sell) the remaining interest in the joint venture 30 months after the closing date.

Giving effect to the payment made at closing, additional future payments to TDK based on sales by the joint venture of RF filter functions, as well as Qualcomm and TDK's joint collaboration efforts, and assuming QGT's exercise of its option to acquire EPCOS' interest in the joint venture, the aggregate transaction value is expected to be about $3bn. Qualcomm expects the transaction to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share in the 12 months following the transaction close.

See related items:

Qualcomm and TDK forming JV to provide RF front-ends for mobile devices

Tags: CMOS PAs

Visit: www.tdk.com

Visit: www.qualcomm.com

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