Qualcomm and TDK Launch JV to Deliver RF Front-End Modules and Filters into Fully Integrated Systems

QualcommQualcomm and TDK Corporation have announced the completion of a joint venture that will enable Qualcomm’s RFFE business unit to deliver RF front-end (RFFE) modules and RF filters into fully integrated systems. The Joint Venture has been given the name RF360 Holdings and is incorporated in Singapore.

RF360 Holdings, has more than 4,000 employees worldwide. They develop and manufactures innovative RFFE filtering solutions for mobile devices and fast growing business segments, such as IoT, drones, robotics, automotive applications and more. RF360 Holdings offers a comprehensive portfolio of filters and filter technologies, including surface acoustic wave (SAW), temperature-compensated surface acoustic wave (TC-SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) solutions to support the wide range of frequency bands being deployed in networks across the globe. The TDK business being transferred to enable this is part of the TDK SAW Business Group.

The ongoing expansion of mobile communication across multiple industries, and the unprecedented deployment of multi-carrier 4G technologies now reaching over sixty-five 3GPP frequency bands are driving manufacturers of wireless solutions to higher levels of miniaturization, integration and performance, especially for the RFFE in these devices.

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 customers to deliver mobile solutions at scale and on time.

Together with RF360 Holdings, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) will be ideally 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.

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, SOI and GaAs Power Amplifiers[1], a broad portfolio of Switches, Antenna Tuning, Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) and the industry’s leading Envelope Tracking solution.

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

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 Vice President and General Manager of RFFE, QTI, which includes RF360 Holdings. Block was previously the Chief Technology Officer of EPCOS AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK, and General Manager of the TDK SAW Business Group.

As asserted on January 12, 2016, when the agreement to form the joint venture was announced, RF360 Holdings will initially be owned 51 percent by Qualcomm Global Trading PTE. Ltd. (QGT) and 49 percent by EPCOS AG (EPCOS). 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 approximately $3 billion US dollars. Qualcomm expects the transaction to be accretive to Non-GAAP earnings per share in the 12 months following the transaction close.

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