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Company Profile: Qualcomm

Introduction to Qualcomm

Qualcomm Incorporated is a multinational corporation that specializes in telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, and wireless technology. The company is best known for its patent licensing business and as a leading producer of semiconductors for mobile phones and other wireless devices. Qualcomm has developed a strong presence in the mobile and wireless technology industry, and its innovations have had a significant impact on the development of smartphones, cellular communication, and mobile computing.

History of Qualcomm

Qualcomm was founded in 1985 by Irwin Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi, and six other co-founders who shared a vision of creating innovative wireless technology solutions. The company’s early years were focused on developing and commercializing Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, a digital cellular technology that allowed for more efficient use of the wireless spectrum. CDMA quickly became the standard for 3G wireless communication, and its success laid the foundation for Qualcomm’s growth and success in the telecommunications industry.

Qualcomm’s early breakthroughs in CDMA technology led to the development of the first commercial CDMA handset in 1995, marking a significant milestone for the company. As CDMA technology continued to evolve, Qualcomm expanded its reach by licensing its technology to other manufacturers and operators, establishing itself as a key player in the global wireless market.

In the early 2000s, Qualcomm made strategic acquisitions and investments that allowed the company to diversify its product offerings and expand its influence in the semiconductor industry. The acquisition of Flarion Technologies in 2006 solidified Qualcomm’s position as a leader in 4G wireless technology, and the company continued to innovate and set new standards for mobile communication.

Today, Qualcomm is at the forefront of 5G technology development and is actively working on advancing the capabilities of wireless networks and mobile devices. The company’s commitment to innovation and its extensive portfolio of intellectual property have cemented its position as a driving force in the wireless technology industry.

Founders of Qualcomm

Irwin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi, along with six other co-founders, played pivotal roles in the establishment and early success of Qualcomm. Irwin Jacobs, an electrical engineer and entrepreneur, served as the company’s founding CEO and later as its chairman. Jacobs was instrumental in shaping Qualcomm’s strategic direction and fostering a culture of innovation within the company.

Andrew Viterbi, a renowned engineer and scientist, was responsible for the development of the Viterbi algorithm, which revolutionized error-correcting codes and played a crucial role in the evolution of digital communication. His contributions to Qualcomm’s technology portfolio and his expertise in wireless communication were integral to the company’s early achievements and continued growth.

The other co-founders of Qualcomm brought diverse skills and expertise to the table, contributing to the company’s success in various areas of telecommunications, engineering, and business. Their collective vision and dedication laid the foundation for Qualcomm’s legacy as a pioneering force in wireless technology.

Headquarters and Global Presence

Qualcomm’s headquarters are located in San Diego, California, where the company was originally founded. The San Diego campus serves as the company’s primary hub for research and development, corporate operations, and strategic leadership. Over the years, Qualcomm has expanded its global footprint and established a presence in numerous countries around the world, including major technology hubs in the United States, Europe, Asia, and other regions.

The company operates research and development centers, sales offices, and manufacturing facilities in key global markets, strengthening its position as a leading provider of wireless technology solutions. Qualcomm’s global reach enables it to collaborate with industry partners, customers, and stakeholders to drive innovation and deliver cutting-edge technology to consumers worldwide.

In addition to its physical presence, Qualcomm’s influence extends to its extensive network of licensees, partners, and customers, who leverage the company’s technology and intellectual property to bring innovative wireless products and services to the market. As Qualcomm continues to advance the capabilities of wireless communication and semiconductor technology, its global presence plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of mobile connectivity and fostering technological advancements on a global scale.

Overall, Qualcomm’s deep roots in wireless technology innovation, the contributions of its founders, and its strategic global presence have solidified its position as a prominent and influential player in the telecommunications and semiconductor industries. The company’s legacy of technological breakthroughs and its ongoing commitment to driving innovation signify its continued relevance and impact in the ever-evolving landscape of wireless communication and mobile connectivity.


QUALCOMM, Inc. is a global technology company that specializes in designing and developing wireless telecommunications products and services. The company operates through three segments: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL), and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives (QSI). QUALCOMM’s operations involve the development and commercialization of advanced wireless technologies, including 5G, automotive, IoT, and networking solutions.

Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT)

The QCT segment focuses on developing and supplying integrated circuits and system software for mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other consumer electronics. QCT provides a wide range of wireless technologies, such as LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, to enable connectivity and high-speed data transfer on mobile devices.

Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL)

The QTL segment is responsible for licensing QUALCOMM’s intellectual property, including patents and other technologies related to wireless communications. QTL generates revenue through licensing agreements with manufacturers of mobile devices and other wireless products, providing them access to QUALCOMM’s extensive patent portfolio.

Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives (QSI)

The QSI segment encompasses QUALCOMM’s investments in emerging technologies and new business opportunities. This segment focuses on fostering innovation and driving growth through strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and investments in areas such as AI, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities.


QUALCOMM offers a diverse range of products and services that power the wireless communications industry, enabling seamless connectivity and high-performance wireless devices. Some of the key products and technologies offered by QUALCOMM include:

5G Technology

QUALCOMM has been at the forefront of developing 5G technology, driving innovation in wireless connectivity and paving the way for the next generation of mobile communications. The company’s 5G solutions enable faster data speeds, lower latency, and greater network capacity, transforming the way people connect and communicate.

Snapdragon Mobile Platforms

The Snapdragon series of mobile platforms developed by QUALCOMM power a wide range of smartphones, bringing cutting-edge features and performance to mobile devices. These platforms integrate advanced hardware and software components to deliver enhanced user experiences and capabilities, including AI, gaming, camera, and multimedia.

Automotive and IoT Solutions

QUALCOMM provides innovative solutions for the automotive industry, including connected car platforms, telematics, and infotainment systems that enable advanced connectivity and intelligence in vehicles. The company also offers IoT solutions for smart home, industrial, and commercial applications, empowering the deployment of connected devices and sensors.

Networking and Infrastructure

QUALCOMM’s networking and infrastructure products encompass a broad range of technologies for wireless and wired network systems, including small cells, base stations, and Wi-Fi solutions. These products enable reliable and scalable connectivity for various deployment scenarios, from residential and enterprise networks to public venues and urban environments.

Relevance in the Field

As a leader in wireless technology, QUALCOMM holds a prominent position in the telecommunications industry and plays a crucial role in shaping the future of wireless communications. The company’s contributions to the development of 5G technology, mobile platforms, and IoT solutions have been instrumental in driving innovation and connectivity across diverse industries. QUALCOMM’s relevance in the field is underscored by its commitment to advancing the capabilities of wireless technologies and fostering collaboration with industry partners to deliver transformative solutions.

5G Leadership

QUALCOMM’s leadership in 5G technology is widely recognized, with the company actively driving the global adoption of 5G networks and devices. By developing 5G solutions that deliver enhanced speed, capacity, and latency, QUALCOMM is enabling new possibilities for mobile communications, IoT, and industrial applications. The company’s comprehensive portfolio of 5G technologies has positioned it as a key enabler of the 5G ecosystem and a trusted partner for industry stakeholders.

Mobile Platform Innovation

QUALCOMM’s Snapdragon mobile platforms have set industry standards for performance, power efficiency, and connectivity in smartphones and other mobile devices. The company’s continuous innovation in mobile platform design and integration of advanced technologies, such as AI and 5G connectivity, has contributed to the evolution of mobile experiences and the proliferation of high-performance devices.

IoT and Automotive Solutions

QUALCOMM’s expertise in IoT and automotive solutions has been integral to the advancement of connected technologies in industries such as automotive, smart home, and industrial automation. The company’s leadership in developing wireless connectivity and intelligence for IoT devices, as well as its focus on enabling secure and reliable connectivity in automotive applications, underscores its relevance in driving the convergence of wireless communications and intelligent ecosystems.


QUALCOMM’s impact extends beyond its products and technologies, encompassing its role as a catalyst for industry growth and innovation. The company’s insights into the future of wireless communications, its engagement with global standards organizations, and its collaborations with ecosystem partners shed light on its strategic direction and contributions to the advancement of the telecommunications industry.

Industry Collaboration and Standards Development

QUALCOMM actively participates in global standards development organizations, such as 3GPP and IEEE, to contribute to the establishment of industry standards and specifications for wireless communications. The company’s involvement in standardization efforts for 4G and 5G technologies, as well as other wireless standards, reflects its commitment to driving interoperability and global adoption of advanced wireless solutions.

Ecosystem Partnerships and Innovation

QUALCOMM’s engagements with ecosystem partners, including mobile operators, device manufacturers, and technology providers, are essential to fostering innovation and accelerating the adoption of new wireless technologies. The company’s collaborative approach to developing and commercializing wireless solutions enables it to address diverse market needs and drive the proliferation of cutting-edge technologies across a broad range of industries.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

QUALCOMM is committed to social responsibility and sustainability, incorporating ethical principles and environmental stewardship into its business practices. The company’s initiatives to promote digital inclusion, support STEM education, and reduce its environmental impact align with its vision for a connected and sustainable future. QUALCOMM’s efforts to create positive social and environmental impacts reflect its long-term commitment to corporate responsibility and global citizenship.

Key Details

Founded July 1, 1985
# of Employees Approximately 41,000
Sector Technology/Telecommunications
Main Products 5G technology, Snapdragon mobile platforms, IoT solutions, automotive technologies, networking and infrastructure products
Revenue Approximately $23.5 billion (Fiscal year 2020)
Headquarters San Diego, California, United States
Countries Operations and presence in multiple countries globally
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