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Moto goes to Texas, freezes out Qualcomm

The bad news just keeps on coming for Qualcomm, with revelations this week that Motorola has removed the US chip vendor from its 3G suppliers list.

In the short term, Moto is believed to be shifting its business to its own chipset spin off, Freescale Semiconductor, but in the long run, it looks like Texas Instruments is set up to get the contract.

Reports suggest that Motorola has already begun to shift resources away from Qualcomm, with handsets designers actively encouraged to shunt Qualcomm kit out of new products.

The move is yet another slap in the face to Qualcomm, which has been involved in volatile legal wrangling over patents infringement in its 3G chips.

In July, US cellco Verizon Wireless signed a licensing agreement with US chip shop Broadcom, after calling  off its attempts to overturn the ban.

Verizon said it made the deal so it can continue to sell 3G handsets. In June, the International Trade Commission (ITC) banned the import of new 3G phone models using chips made by Qualcomm. The ban came into effect after Qualcomm was previously found guilty of infringing three Broadcom patents related to cellular baseband chips.

Motorola’s decision also looks to be a boon for Texas Instruments, after Nokia last month announced plans to broaden its pool of chipset suppliers, making it less reliant on Texas. The company is already working with four chipset suppliers: Texas Instruments continues as a broad scope supplier across all protocols; Broadcom as a supplier in EDGE; Infineon as a supplier in GSM; and STMicroelectronics as a supplier in 3G.

It could even be that Nokia’s decision tipped the balance for Motorola, giving Texas Instruments more engineering resources to dedicate to Moto.


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