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A Closer Look at the QCOM $40M Investment in China!

A Closer Look at the QCOM $40M Investment in China!
by Daniel Nenni on 12-14-2014 at 7:00 am

 Last Thursday night was the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] annual GSA Awards Dinner which probably hosts one of the largest collections of semiconductor executives. Think of a movie or music awards show with all of the trimmings including Jay Leno as the keynote. I don’t know the exact head count but there were 160 dinner tables with 10 plates per table. The GSA (Global Semiconductor Association) used to be called the FSA (Fabless Semiconductor Association) which means the IDMs can play with us too but it was mostly fabless.

About GSA:
The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) mission is to accelerate the growth and increase the return on invested capital of the global semiconductor industry by fostering a more effective ecosystem through collaboration, integration and innovation. It addresses the challenges within the supply chain including IP, EDA/design, wafer manufacturing, test and packaging to enable industry-wide solutions. Providing a platform for meaningful global collaboration, the Alliance identifies and articulates market opportunities, encourages and supports entrepreneurship, and provides members with comprehensive and unique market intelligence. Members include companies throughout the supply chain representing 30 countries across the globe. www.gsaglobal.org

Earlier in the day Qualcomm announced the China investment with Walden International which is interesting because the CEO of QCOM (Steve Mollenkopf) and the founder of Walden International (Lip-Bu Tan) were both there last night and very friendly. Even more interesting, the founder of Walden International is also the CEO of Cadence and QCOM is a very big customer of Cadence. ARM and TSMC are also investors in Walden and both of their CEOs were there as well. Cadence is also very active with ARM and TSMC (I see Lip-Bu in Taiwan the more than any other EDA CEO) so it is indeed a very small pond we swim in. Given that China consumes roughly half of the semiconductors we produce I think you will see more of these types of deals amongst “fabless friends”, absolutely.

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm, was formalized in 2000 and currently has a portfolio of more than 120 active companies across the globe. Qualcomm Ventures also invests in seed stage companies through its QPrize” Mobile Internet Startup Competition which evaluates and awards seed funding for promising early stage Chinese entrepreneurs.

If you look at their portfolio page you will see some very interesting and innovative companies that no doubt integrate QCOM technology (FitBit, Xiaomi). If you hover over the 100+ logos you will see the future of mobile and IoT especially in India and China.

Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award
The Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award recognizes individuals, such as its namesake, Dr. Morris Chang, for their exceptional contributions to drive the development, innovation, growth and long-term opportunities for the semiconductor industry.

  • 2013 Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder and Ms. Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Marvell)
  • 2012 Sir Robin Saxby, Founding CEO, ARM
  • 2011 Dr. Henry Samueli, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Broadcom Corporation
  • 2010 Dr. John Hennessy, president of Stanford University
  • 2009 Dr. Aart de Geus, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Synopsys, Inc.
  • 2008 Dr. Eli Harari, Chairman and CEO, SanDisk Corporation
  • 2007 Gordon Campbell, Executive Director, TechFarm Ventures
  • 2006 Kamran Elahian, Chairman, Global Catalyst Partners
  • 2004 Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO, President and Co-Founder, NVIDIA Corporation
  • 2003 Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of QUALCOMM Incorporated
  • 2002 Bernard V. Vonderschmitt, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Xilinx, Inc.
  • 2001 Michael L. Hackworth, Chairman of Cirrus Logic
  • 2000 Dr. Robert S. Pepper, former President and CEO, Level One Communications
  • 1999 Dr. Morris Chang, Chairman and CEO, TSMC

The most interesting award given out last night was the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award. Interesting because it went to Dr. Morris Chang for the second time (Dr. Mark Lui accepted for Morris). This will probably keep the semiconductor rumor mill churning for a while and you read it here first!

Also Read: Fab-U-Less! The 2013 Global Semiconductor Awards!

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