Qualcomm Expands its Power Efficiency Prowess in Summit Micro Buyout

A few weeks after last year’s Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm’s Bill Davidson talked with me about the importance of making energy efficiency a priority in wireless chip design.

Davidson, who is Qualcomm’s senior vice president of global marketing and investor relations, voiced frustration over some of the gigahertz-size claims that some companies coming out of the computer chip space were making about the speed of their wireless processors. “It would be like in an era of $4 a gallon gasoline not caring if the car only gets 5 miles per gallon,” Davidson said at the time. His point was that there’s nothing like a little mobile Web browsing to drain your smartphone battery—and the San Diego wireless giant really understands the critical importance of optimizing power use to extend battery life.

I immediately thought of that conversation when I noticed that Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) has acquired Summit Microelectronics, a Sunnyvale, CA-based maker of power management chips used in mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers. In a statement this morning, Qualcomm says its “power management roadmap will be significantly enhanced with the addition of Summit’s expertise and products.”

Qualcomm’s statement also says: “The demand for more sophisticated battery management is critical in … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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