Inventors. Dreamers. Doers.

Seven people, one big idea.

In July 1985, seven industry veterans came together in the den of Dr. Irwin Jacobs’ San Diego home to discuss an idea. Those visionaries—Franklin Antonio, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, Irwin Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi and Harvey White—decided they wanted to build “Quality Communications” and outlined a plan that has evolved into one of the telecommunications industry’s greatest start-up success stories: Qualcomm Incorporated.


1985 - Qualcomm is founded

  • In July of 1985, seven people – Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Dr. Andrew Viterbi, Harvey White, Franklin Antonio, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, and Adelia Coffman found Qualcomm, opening the Company’s first office in La Jolla, California.
  • That same year, Qualcomm lands its first contract and begins working with CDMA, a unique digital wireless technology used by the U.S. military for secure communications.

1988 - Qualcomm pioneers M2M communications

  • In August of 1988, the Company launches OmniTRACS, a satellite-based data communications system for the transportation industry that enables truck fleet operators to effectively track and monitor their vehicles in the field.
  • Later this year, Qualcomm receives its first major OmniTRACS order from Schneider National Trucking Company. Qualcomm is still a fledgling company and the order provides it with a much-needed capital infusion.

1989 - Qualcomm makes a historic phone call, CDMA is proven

  • In the spring of 1989, Qualcomm and PacTel Cellular commit to staging a demonstration of CDMA to 50 of the wireless industry’s most influential leaders.
  • With only six months to engineer the demo, the team was still making final adjustments when Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs took to the podium in San Diego, California on November 7, 1989. Deftly stalling for time in his opening remarks, Dr. Jacobs eventually received the “thumbs up” from one of the engineers and placed the demonstration call that made wireless history.


1991 - Qualcomm becomes a public company

  • In December of 1991, Qualcomm conducts its IPO, making 4 million shares of the Company available to the public on the NASDAQ.

1993 - Qualcomm establishes itself as pioneer for mobile Internet; makes largest strides with CDMA

  • In February of 1993, Qualcomm demonstrates basic packet data (TCP/IP) services over CDMA, establishing leadership as an early advocate for mobile Internet connectivity.
  • In March of 1993, Qualcomm introduces the industry's first dual-mode CDMA-AMPS mobile phone, the CD-7000 is the first in a series of CDMA-based cellular telephones designed by Qualcomm.
  • In July of 1993, the U.S. Telecommunications Industry Association adopted CDMA as a cellular standard, validating Qualcomm’s business model and opening the door to the global proliferation of this advanced digital wireless technology.

1995 - Qualcomm begins supplying infrastructure, starts chipset and licensing divisions; CDMA commercially launched in Hong Kong

  • In March of 1995, BC Tel Mobility of British Columbia, Canada selects Northern Telecom (Nortel), in collaboration with Qualcomm, to supply network infrastructure equipment for its CDMA digital cellular and Personal Communications Services (PCS) network.
  • In October of 1995, Qualcomm forms the CDMA ASIC Products Unit which evolves into Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) in 1999. QCT will reflect the division's evolution from a hardware supplier to a strategic partner supplying a complete range of CDMA-based solutions. Today, QCT is the industry's leading semiconductor and software developer and provider.
  • Also in October, Qualcomm launches the business unit now known as Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL) to facilitate technology transfer and strategic alliance building. Through this nontraditional “horizontal” business model, Qualcomm opens the door for new market entrants of all sizes to participate in the growth of the industry.
  • In October of 1995, Hutchison Telephone Co. Ltd. in Hong Kong launches the first commercial CDMA service.

1996 - CDMA goes global

  • In 1996, Bell Atlantic, PrimeCo, SKT (S. Korea) and Telefonica (Peru) launch CDMA commercially. There are more than 1 million subscribers worldwide by year’s end.

1998 - First commercial CDMA smartphone

  • In September of 1998, Qualcomm unveils the pdQ CDMA phone. Based on the popular Palm operating system, this device represented the world’s first CDMA smartphone.

1999 - Qualcomm becomes an index stock; CDMA2000 1X accepted as 3G

  • Qualcomm’s strong performance and revenue growth enable the Company to gain entry into the S&P 500 Index and 1999 Fortune 500® list.
  • The International Telecommunications Union - the arm of the United Nations that oversees global telecommunications systems - selects CDMA2000 1X and WCDMA as 3G wireless standards. In 2001, the ITU selects CDMA2000 1xEV-DO (eventually known as EV-DO) as a 3G wireless standard.


2000 - First CDMA chipset to integrate GPS

  • In August of 2000, Qualcomm delivers the first multimedia CDMA chipset and system software. Featuring gpsOne® position location, Internet connectivity, MP3 and Bluetooth™ connectivity, the MSM3300/IFR3300 enables manufacturers to begin the design of advanced wireless handsets that offer rich multimedia applications and power-efficient position location features in very small and cost-effective form-factors.

2001 - Qualcomm introduces Brew; signs 100th licensee

  • In January of 2001, Qualcomm announces Brew®, an open applications platform for CDMA-based wireless devices. Designed to provide solutions for the wireless industry “as it moves toward wireless-Internet convergence,” the Brew platform enables software developers to more easily create and monetize feature-rich applications for CDMA devices and provides users with the opportunity to download applications “over the air” and personalize their wireless devices to suit their needs.
  • In October of 2001, NTT DoCoMo launches the first commercial WCDMA mobile network.
  • In November of 2001, South Korea’s KTFreeTel (KTF) became the first wireless network operator in the world to launch Brew-based services. Laying the groundwork for mobile application stores of the future, KTF offered its subscribers access to more than 160 applications via their CDMA mobile phones.
  • Qualcomm signs its 100th licensee this year, proving the value of its intellectual property portfolio and validating the Company’s business model as a catalyst for growth and innovation in the wireless industry.

2002 - Qualcomm-driven technologies gain traction around the world

  • SK Telecom (SKT) launches the world’s first commercial EV-DO mobile network in South Korea.
  • The two largest U.S. mobile operators – Sprint PCS & Verizon Wireless – deploy Qualcomm’s gpsOne® to meet the U.S. government’s mandate to enable position location whenever an e911 call is made from a mobile phone. The gpsOne solution earns distinction as the most widely deployed GPS-based location technology in the world.
  • The U.S. government awards Qualcomm a development contract for the first secure CDMA Voice-over-IP (VoIP) wireless handset. In 2005, the Qsec-2700 Rel. 2 achieves U.S. government Type I certification, making it the world’s first and only secure VoIP mobile phone.

2003 - Qualcomm spearheads the evolution of wireless broadband

  • In May of 2003, Qualcomm announces its fourth generation of WCDMA chipsets. The solution delivers High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), a next-generation feature of the WCDMA (UMTS) standard, as well as roaming on GSM and GPRS systems. In addition, the new solution provides WCDMA handsets with enhanced multimedia functionality for video conferencing, streaming video, music playback, gaming, camera and camcorder features.
  • In September of 2003, Verizon Wireless launches CDMA2000 1xEV-DO service on its nationwide network in the U.S., offering subscribers data connectivity at broadband speeds.

2005 - The Scorpion processor brings consumer electronics features to mobile devices

  • In November of 2005, Qualcomm introduces the Scorpion processor, an advanced mobile microprocessor delivering 1 GHz of processing speed and unmatched power efficiency. The Scorpion core is the first microprocessor specifically designed and optimized for integration into Qualcomm’s Mobile Station Modem™ (MSM™) solutions, and enables the convergence of mobile handsets with consumer electronics features.

2007 - Qualcomm becomes world’s leading mobile chipset provider; introduces Snapdragon

  • In July of 2007, market research firm iSupply names Qualcomm as the world’s leading mobile chipset provider, citing the Company’s strong position in supplying integrated circuits (chipsets) to manufacturers of advanced 3G mobile devices worldwide.
  • In October of 2007, Qualcomm begins collaboration with Microsoft, enabling multiple Windows Mobile smartphones to launch worldwide using Qualcomm integrated chipsets.
  • In November of 2007, Qualcomm introduces the Snapdragon platform and two chipset solutions featuring the platform. The QSD8250™ and QSD8650™ are the first chipset solutions to break the gigahertz barrier with multimode broadband and multimedia features, and offer an unprecedented combination of mobile data processing, multimedia performance, 3G wireless connectivity and the lowest levels of power consumption for all-day battery life. The Snapdragon platform delivers an instant-on and always-connected user experience, opening up a new era of innovative computing and consumer wireless mobile devices.

2008 - Qualcomm completes first HSPA+ data call; powers world's first Android-based mobile device

  • In May of 2008, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies (QMT) demonstrates the first reflective Interferometric Modulation (IMOD) color mirasol™ display. IMOD technology requires no backlighting and reflects light so that wavelengths interfere with each other creating pure, vivid colors. The first commercial product is a 0.9-inch IMOD color mirasol display introduced by Freestyle Audio in its next-generation MP3 player product line. A variety of mobile devices, including mobile phones, stand to benefit from mirasol displays, which require significantly less power and harness ambient light sources to automatically scale for optimal viewing in virtually any lighting condition.
  • In July of 2008, Qualcomm completes the world's first data call using High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) network technology. The call achieves a data transfer rate of more than 20 Mbps in a 5 MHz channel. HSPA+, also known as HSPA Evolved, allows operators to double the data and triple the voice capacity of their networks compared to current HSPA deployments. The successful demonstration was achieved on Qualcomm's MDM8200™ product, the industry's first chipset solution for HSPA+.
  • In October of 2008, the G1 — the world's first Android-based mobile device launches — powered by a Qualcomm chipset. The launch of the T-Mobile G1, manufactured by HTC, is a breakthrough moment for Linux-based open mobile application platforms. Qualcomm’s close relationship with T-Mobile, HTC and many other members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) was instrumental in achieving this milestone. Qualcomm worked with HTC on the design and development of this first Android-based device, optimizing the software and integrating with the Company’s MSM7201A-a single chip, dual-core solution.

2009 - Qualcomm unveils world’s first multimode 3G/ LTE integrated chipset solution; Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is elected as chairman

  • In February of 2009, Qualcomm introduces the world’s first complete multimode 3G/ LTE integrated chipset solution. Targeting smartphones, the MSM8960 supports all of the world’s leading mobile broadband standards including CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B and Simultaneous Voice-Data Operation (SV-DO) as well as multi-carrier HSPA+ and LTE.
  • In March of 2009, Qualcomm’s Board of Directors elects Dr. Paul E. Jacobs as chairman of the board after Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs steps down, Irwin continues to serve as a member of the board of directors.
  • In September of 2009, the number of CDMA subscribers surpasses half a billion users worldwide, validating Qualcomm’s unwavering confidence that the technology would one day play a critical role in global mobile communications. (CDMA = cdmaOne, CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO.)


2010 - 3G connections surpass 1 billion; Qualcomm samples first dual-core Snapdragon chipsets

  • Bolstered by heavy demand for smartphones and strong market uptake for mobile broadband services, the worldwide number of 3G connections surpasses 1 billion in April of 2010. (3G = CDMA2000, WCDMA and TD-SCDMA.)
  • In June of 2010, Qualcomm samples its first dual-CPU SnapdragonTM chipsets. The Mobile Station ModemTM (MSMTM) MSM8x60TM solutions integrate two of Qualcomm’s enhanced cores — running at up to 1.2GHz. The expanded Snapdragon chipset platform is redefining mobility for consumers around the world by offering an unprecedented combination of mobile processing performance, powerful multimedia, ubiquitous connectivity and optimized power consumption to enable a new generation of smart mobile devices.

2011 - Acquires Atheros, an industry leader in local area networking & connectivity; Snapdragon delivers speeds of up to 2.5GHz.

  • Qualcomm announces its acquisition of Atheros, a leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired local area connectivity in the computing, networking and consumer electronics industries.
  • Qualcomm launches the AllJoyn™ open source project, a peer-to-peer technology framework that enables ad-hoc, proximity-based, device-to-device communication without the use of an intermediary server.
  • Qualcomm announces the next-generation of its Snapdragon mobile chipset family. The new processor micro-architecture, code-named Krait, offers speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and delivers 150 percent higher overall performance, as well as 65 percent lower power than currently available ARM-based CPU cores. Chipsets will be available in single-, dualand quad-core versions and include a new Adreno® GPU series with up to four 3D cores, and integrated multi-mode LTE modem.
  • QSC shipments surpass 500M units.
  • Qualcomm’s vision-based, augmented reality (AR) platform (later branded as Qualcomm® Vuforia™) for Android smartphones launches commercially.
  • Qualcomm launches Qualcomm Life, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary. Qualcomm Life’s first offerings, the 2net™ Platform and Hub for use in connection with wireless medical devices, are designed to interconnect wireless medical devices via cloud-based solutions so that biometric information is easily accessible by device users, their health care providers and caregivers.
  • In announcing the retirement of Dr. Irwin Jacobs from the Board of Directors, the Board confers upon him the title of Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus.


2012 - World’s first modem to support both HSPA+ and LTE Advanced.

  • Qualcomm Atheros introduces its first generation of Wi-Fi® Display-enabled, peer-to-peer connectivity solutions. This first set of solutions will serve as the foundation for a new generation of interoperable consumer electronics that allow users to easily share content from device-to-device, without the need for an Internet connection, network or access point.
  • World’s first VoIP-over-LTE call.
  • In Feb. of 2012, Qualcomm announces that its next generation Gobi™ modem chipsets, the MDM8225™, MDM9225™ and MDM9625™ chipsets, will be the first to support both HSPA+ Release 10 and the next-generation of the LTE mobile broadband standard, LTE Advanced.
  • In October, Qualcomm implements a new corporate structure. It features the parent company, Qualcomm Incorporated, which includes QTL and corporate functions, as well as most of Qualcomm’s patent portfolio, and a wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., which, along with its subsidiaries, now operates substantially all of Qualcomm’s R&D activities, as well as product and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT.

2013 - First LTE-Advanced smartphone.

  • In January of 2013, QTI samples the first products in its latest generation of processors, the Snapdragon™ 800 and 600.
  • In February of 2013, QTI announces the newest addition to its Gobi Embedded Platform, which increases LTE data speeds up to 150Mbps, supports carrier aggregation and provides additional LTE bands worldwide.
  • First LTE Advanced demonstration.
  • In June 2013, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors power the world’s first LTE-Advanced Smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A, offering data speeds of up to 150 Mbps.