Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chips

By: Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org), April 19, 2019 12:03 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
dmcq (dmcq.delete@this.fano.co.uk) on April 19, 2019 6:54 am wrote:
> Adrian (a.delete@this.acm.org) on April 19, 2019 12:48 am wrote:
> > Beastian (noemail.delete@this.aol.com) on April 18, 2019 11:28 pm wrote:
> >
> > > If KFC had invented and patented the fundamental function of eating and enabled the "eating ecosystem"
> > > with novel concepts like teeth, esophagus, stomach, stomach acids etc. along with non-essentials like
> > > tongue, then yes, they would be entitled to an "eating fee" not only for eating the chicken they sell
> > > you but whatever food is eaten. That they didn't renders this analogy moot rather quickly.
> >
> >
> >
> > While some of the arguments you bring repeatedly in favor of Qualcomm are correct, you always greatly
> > overestimate the value of the "innovations" contributed by Qualcomm to communication standards.
> >
> > Some of the founders of Qualcomm have indeed made some essential contributions
> > to the progress of communications, but that was many decades ago.
> >
> > Nowadays, every new communication standard includes very few, if any, new ideas. The
> > steady progress is due mainly to the progress in other technologies, which allows now
> > cheap implementations of methods known long ago, but which were impractical.
> >
> >
> > We need standards because there are hundreds of parameters with multiple
> > choices and we need a common choice for inter-operation.
> >
> > Because of its earlier start, Qualcomm was usually almost always also the first to have a working
> > implementation for the next generations of communication methods, so they succeeded to introduce
> > their choices in the standards almost every time and that benefited them a lot.
> >
> >
> > However, if they would have chosen not to be a standard contributor,
> > equivalent standards would have been adopted
> > with at most a couple of years delay and the only difference
> > for the world would have been that Qualcomm would
> > have been now either a bankrupt company or a company operating in another market than communications.
> >
> >
> > Regarding innovations, Qualcomm is not at all bad, but it does not distinguish itself
> > much in comparison with other similar companies, to merit exaggerated praises.
>
> If it was so easy I think we'll have to then say Intel are a crowd
> of klutzes. Especially with the help Apple channelled them.

We have no idea WHY Intel failed. Your theory is, apparently, because modems are really hard.
My theory (which IMHO fits into the rest of the what we have seen at Intel) is that Intel management is just astonishingly bad, unwilling to spend money up-front to reduce risk, never preparing a plan B, betting everything on things like process with unpredictable schedules, insisting on using inappropriate internal IP (like x86 as modem controllers) rather than appropriate external IP, etc etc.
Management wants to run Intel as a financial rents company (sit tight and watch the money roll in, and doesn't understand how to run it as an engineering company (you spend money to make money)...

Both theories seem at the very least equally plausible right now.

As I see it, creating a modem requires essentially three pools of work
- the baseline EE algorithms work (viterbi, MIMO, that sort of thing). The algorithms are published, all that's missing is implementations that are correct, robust, and state of the art. Apple certainly has some of these already (their flash controller seems just fine, and their radio IP in the Apple Watch and Airpods isn't generating any complaints.) To assert that they can't do this as needed for 5G seems groundless.

- there is a HUGE pool of work involved in actually handling every damn detail of the 3GPP specs, especially once you start including all sorts of per-county special cases. Every time I referred to Apple buying IP from someone (eg Intel) this was primarily what I had in mind. I still see no reason they can't buy this from Intel, or even someone else. (My guess is that this is NOT covered by the QC IP licensing agreement.)

- finally there is implementation. Once again, Apple seem to be pretty good at this. At least for the first round they probably don't care about absolute minimization of area. And of course they will try for low power and might not match QC IMMEDIATELY --- BUT they don't have to. If they can gain enough win from total design control (eg having the baseband on SoC, or as a chiplet) they can maybe match the power of the previous generation given that they don't have to pay the power cost of communicating over PCB.
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TopicPosted ByDate
Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/18 04:47 PM
  antitrust implications? (NT)anonymous22019/04/18 08:53 PM
    antitrust implications?Doug S2019/04/18 09:50 PM
      antitrust implications?Beastian2019/04/18 11:02 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/18 09:45 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/18 11:05 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/18 11:28 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 12:48 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 06:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 10:33 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 11:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:03 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 08:38 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/19 10:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:03 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 12:08 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:15 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:41 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 02:22 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 08:31 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:41 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/21 07:50 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 10:45 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:27 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:09 PM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 12:17 PM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 01:19 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 06:50 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:49 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 11:08 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:18 AM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:19 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:46 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:50 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 04:17 PM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:59 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 09:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:33 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:26 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:55 AM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndreas2019/04/19 04:55 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndrew Clough2019/04/19 06:19 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/19 07:44 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:49 AM
    Read this and realize what Apple doesGroo2019/04/19 04:27 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:32 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/19 12:15 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 02:48 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 03:53 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 11:05 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:49 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/21 12:07 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/15 07:51 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/15 11:16 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/15 12:21 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/25 11:37 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/25 12:43 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 02:22 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/26 10:05 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/26 11:57 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAnon2019/04/27 04:11 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/27 08:15 PM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/28 06:59 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/02 12:01 PM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 03:58 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 04:27 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsanonymou52019/05/02 05:37 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 01:35 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 09:32 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 01:32 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 03:45 PM
                                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsUmmmm...2019/05/03 04:35 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 04:56 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 09:10 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 09:11 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 10:12 PM
                                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/04 08:33 AM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/03 01:11 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 09:09 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 11:40 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 01:16 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 04:15 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsSimon Farnsworth2019/05/07 05:23 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 12:52 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/02 09:25 AM
    So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedDoug S2019/05/02 10:35 AM
      So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedBeastian2019/05/02 11:43 AM
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