Qualcom Buys Display Firm

Qualcomm is to acquire display technology innovator Iridigm

September 9, 2004

2 Min Read

SAN DIEGO -- QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Iridigm Display Corporation, a privately held display technology company, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM upon completion of the transaction. QUALCOMM will pay approximately $170 million in cash for the approximate 86 percent of Iridigm that it does not already own. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and certain other closing conditions.

Iridigm’s patented iMoD™ technology, based on a Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) structure combined with thin film optics, is a breakthrough in display technology that promises substantial performance, power consumption and cost benefits as compared to alternative display technologies. It delivers vivid and realistic display image quality that can withstand extreme temperatures and be viewed in any environment, including bright sunlight. Displays have become a key driver of the overall power consumption of wireless devices, with the increasing use of vibrant color screens and multimedia applications that generate rapidly changing images. The iMoD solution offers significantly lower power consumption than existing display solutions, thereby extending battery life of wireless devices. With the inclusion of color displays in all types of phones, including models at the low end of the market, the cost of the display has become an even more significant driver in the overall cost of the handset. An iMoD display should cost significantly less to manufacture than a comparable liquid crystal display (LCD) because it requires fewer processing steps to produce, thus enabling advanced multimedia capabilities on all tiers of mobile devices.

“The convergence of consumer electronics products, including cameras, MP3 players, camcorders, GPS receivers and game consoles, into wireless devices is driving the increased adoption of 3G CDMA,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, executive vice president and president of QUALCOMM Wireless & Internet Group. “Our acquisition of Iridigm will accelerate the time to market for the iMoD technology, which fits QUALCOMM’s overall strategy of rapidly increasing the capability of wireless devices while driving down cost, size and power consumption.”

“Joining a wireless leader such as QUALCOMM provides a superb opportunity to advance our technology and extend its global reach,” said Mark Miles, co-founder of Iridigm. “The synergies between Iridigm and QUALCOMM make this acquisition a logical fit for both companies, and we’re excited to join QUALCOMM in advancing display capabilities for the wireless industry.”

Qualcomm Inc.

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