Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and other advanced wireless technologies, and mobile system semiconductor company Newport Media Inc., today announced that the companies have signed a royalty-free agreement that enables Newport Media to use Qualcomm's patented technologies to design, manufacture and sell certain semiconductor chip products that implement FLOTM technology. FLO technology, a multicast innovation, is a Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standardized air-interface technology designed to increase capacity and coverage and reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets. The FLO Forum recently gained official approval and publication of the FLO Air Interface Specification by the TIA TR-47.1 Subcommittee.
“In order to encourage multiple FLO chip vendors, Qualcomm is enabling companies, such as Newport Media, to develop and market FLO chips incorporating Qualcomm's patented technologies without payment of royalties to Qualcomm,” said Marv Blecker, president of Qualcomm Technology Licensing. “Through this program and the work being done with the growing vendor community in the FLO Forum, we continue driving the adoption of FLO technology to facilitate the delivery of high-quality mobile TV, audio and datacasting services to consumers around the world.”
“We are pleased to sign this agreement with Qualcomm, a leader in providing wireless multimedia delivery solutions, as it will allow us to address the rapidly growing mobile TV market and provide advanced chipsets based on FLO technology to our customers,” said Mohy Abdelgany, president and chief executive officer of Newport Media. “This agreement opens up new business opportunities and we look forward to expanding our product portfolio to include FLO semiconductor solutions.”
In order to provide Newport Media's handset customers and other handset suppliers rights to use Qualcomm's patented technology, Qualcomm also has implemented a broad-based licensing program to enable the development, manufacture and sale of FLO-enabled handsets. Subject to Qualcomm's standard terms and conditions, Qualcomm will license its essential FLO patents for use in multi-mode CDMA/FLO handsets with no increase to its standard royalty rate for CDMA-based handsets. CDMA includes CDMA2000® and/or WCDMA/UMTS. For FLO handsets that do not also implement CDMA, Qualcomm will license its essential FLO patents on terms and conditions that are fair, reasonable and free from unfair discrimination. Companies interested in licensing FLO patents should contact Qualcomm at 1-858-587-1121 and ask to speak with the Qualcomm Technology Licensing group.
Engineered specifically for the mobile environment, FLO technology offers several advantages over other mobile multicast technologies, including higher-quality video and audio, faster channel switching time, superior mobile reception, optimized power consumption and greater capacity than other multicast technologies. Because of its superior throughput and efficient use of spectrum, FLO technology can support more content channels (in the same frequency band) than competing technologies, depending on channel bandwidth allocation. Specific performance features of FLO technology include:
- For example, in a 6 MHz channel, FLO technology can transmit up to 20 streaming channels of QVGA-quality (320x240 pixels) video at up to 30 frames per second, 10 stereo audio channels (HE AAC+ parametric stereo) and multiple distributed Clipcast™ content per day (short-format video clips) and datacast services.
- Faster channel switching time. Channel change time is approximately two seconds with FLO technology, and does not require buffering, splash screens or progress bars.
- Low battery power consumption without compromising channel switching time. The commercial goal for FLO technology is approximately 3.8 hours of view time on a standard 850 mAh battery.
- High mobility reception, for example, in 700 MHz, FLO-enabled receivers can operate efficiently at vehicular speeds up to 200 km/hr with graceful degradation of service at even higher speeds.
More information on the benefits of FLO technology and technical details on the FLO specification are available from the FLO Forum ( www.floforum.org ). The FLO Forum is a multi-company initiative committed to advancing the global standardization of FLO technology. Composed of industry-leading organizations, the FLO Forum works to develop products and services, based on FLO technology, that enable the delivery of advanced multimedia services to wireless consumers. The FLO Forum is organized to promote the global standardization of FLO technology, including compliance and certification benchmarks for the technology. The FLO Forum recently gained official approval and publication of the FLO Air Interface Specification by the TIA TR-47.1 Subcommittee.
MediaFLOTM system is an end-to-end solution that enables multicasting of high-quality video, audio streams, Clipcast media and IP datacasting to mobile handsets. The MediaFLO system is a manageable, scalable, subscription-based distribution system and an efficient over-the-air network solution that provides wireless operators and broadcasters a way to cost-effectively deliver the high-quality audio and video content their subscribers desire. More information about the MediaFLO system is available at www.mediaflo.com.
Newport Media Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company that develops and sells highly integrated solutions for emerging digital audio and mobile TV broadcast standards. Newport Media has assembled a management and development team with comprehensive system semiconductor experience in wireless handset and digital set-top box industries. Newport Media's development team leverages its collective experience in these converging industries to develop broadcast multimedia architectures and IC implementations with unprecedented performance, power consumption, size and cost. For more information, visit www.newportmediainc.com.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2006 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the Company's ability to successfully design and have manufactured significant quantities of CDMA components on a timely and profitable basis, the extent and speed to which CDMA is deployed, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 25, 2005, and most recent Form 10-Q.